Thursday, October 11, 2012


College always adds a new element to life. Writing habits have definitely changed. I suppose that change has its ups and its downs. For me, this has meant a number of things, but I've found that - oh, I hope this isn't too disappointing - even with my lack of attention to my stories, I've started to learn a lot more about the process of writing itself. What inspiration and a truly good story look like.

Inspiration... it's a funny word, isn't it? It can mean so many different things. Spending time at a place of special importance, watching a sunset, listening to a conversation, "people watching," or simply having a cup of tea while listening to the birds. Inspiration can come from all kinds of places. For me, it comes when I spend time exploring museums and looking at "old stuff." Old places are fun too. Every time I "go back in time" I just find out something fascinating that gives me an idea for a story.

My family and I spent some time together at Tahoe this past weekend and visited an "old place." Valhalla to be exact. Such a cool place! It reminded me of my current story topic. The life o the rich at the turn of the century. Valhalla's heyday extended into the depression and prohibition, but still, it was built around the turn of the century. It has a beautiful boathouse on the lake with tracks that launch the boats into the water. So inventive! The women didn't have to get their skirts wet!
That's my inspiration. I couldn't imagine anything better that smelling dust and looking at old stuff. But that's not what's important. What I've found is that finding your inspiration is an important part of the writing process that I kind of forgot about.

Whenever I fist start to write a book, I always drown myself in the history of the time period. It helps me to get excited about a story. It also helps me to prepare my mind to create settings that accurately represent the scape I choose for my characters. Inspiration is important.

But I want to talk about more than inspiration. I've also started to take a closer look at stories in and of themselves. "Fine-tune," you might say. I'm praying that this will help me write better stories. Most of my recent discoveries you can find at A page that I manage on Facebook. though I suppose I'm officially no longer a minor, but this is where I share what I've learned with other Christian teen writers. You really should like my page. there are several other authors, primarily Mona Hodgson, who help me to maintain the page.

For now, if you are writing, or just like to read about the strange minds of writers, remember that stories are what shape us and transform us. Everyone likes stories. Cling to them and don't forget them. Jesus' most well-known teachings are in story form.