In order to write, you need something to write about. Finding a big-picture concept and then developing a plot, characters, and setting around it can be a tricky process. Hours of thought, dreams, and contemplation have to be invested before a story can be fully prepared.
In my experience, there are two primary ways of gaining inspiration. What first shaped my initial concepts for The Breacher - and continues to shape my ideas of future books - was my observation of my external world. As a kid, I spent a lot of time studying real people, fictional characters, and the plot structures and dialogue of movies. This is often the fuel for sudden inspiration, and it's how most of my book concepts have been born. Everything I see and experience gets locked away in my head and kicked around until something pops out in a "Eureka!" moment. But this aspect of inspiration comes largely from the subconscious, meaning it's difficult to cultivate.
My second means of developing chapters, events, characters, and plots is music. Almost every moment in The Breacher was influenced by a specific song or even a single second of a song. When I listen to music, I'm not here anymore. I'm away in my head, staring at vague images of heroism, sacrifice, and death. The images I see slowly become more vivid and complex until eventually I have a fully prepared scene right in front of me.
One song in particular, Nocturne by Daft Punk, has a very personal importance to me. When I was fourteen, I was listening to it one day and suddenly envisioned a man walking on a sand-blown beach. But the ocean beside it had dried up. Buildings were sunken in the desert along the coast. He was the last man on Earth, and he was about to die. For a split-second, I felt - really felt - the significance and grandeur of what it meant to have a lifeless Earth. I wanted others to feel it, too. Jotting that scene down was what started my passion for writing. If you want to read that little story, head over to my blog post "My First Dabble"!
Thanks for reading,