Deadworld’s Inspiration

Writers get inspired by many things. It can be a song, a movie, another book, or just random life events, among other things. We draw inspiration from all over. It’s one of the cooler things about the writing process. You never know where the next great idea will come from and sometimes it can be surprising where they do come from. Often the ideas come when least expected, and the harder one tries to find them, the more difficult it is to come up with them.

The story for Deadworld, in part at least, came from books, two of my favorite series in fact: Stephen King’s “Dark Tower” and J.D. Robb’s “In Death” series. These books have two of my favorite characters in fiction, Roland and Eve Dallas. They also represent two of my favorite story types, epic fantasy and crime fiction. Now, I didn’t literally think in the beginning, “How can I mash all of these elements together into someting new?” I began from the simpler notion of wanting to write a supernatural thriller that took a different spin on vampires. It was when I began to consider characters that these books inspired me. I love the lone, single-minded gunman character. King certainly wasn’t the first to use this, but Roland is epic in this regard, a ruined man, guided by one, do-or-die goal. Nothing else in his life matters. Eve is my favorite type of crime fighter, a wounded soul, driven to excellence in an effort to overcome a trauma she can never truly escape from. That which makes her great has also left her broken.

Now, I didn’t take these two characters and say, “I’m going to make my own version,” but if you’ve read either of those series, you might easily see where my inspiration came from. They are fantastic, defining examples of a particular character type. So, I would not be offended by any readers who came to me and said, “you must be a J.D. Robb fan” or “you know, Nick reminds me of Roland from The Dark Tower.”  Of course, some might read my story and think, “man, these are just lame ripoffs of Eve and Roland.” I don’t mind admitting to my inspirations. I’m proud of my book. I think it’s an enjoyable story that will have readers feeling like it was money well spent. And in the end, that’s all I can really hope for.

So, what inspires your writing? What characters, movies, books, real life people and/or events have inspired you?

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2 responses to “Deadworld’s Inspiration

  1. My most recent book (which has turned into a series and is by far the best) was actually inspired by Naruto. I was watching more out of boredom than anything else and suddenly this idea hit me like lightning and I had to start writing. Funny since the only similarities in the book are ninja and demons.
    I’ve also been inspired by other books, some I can’t even remember the name to. But what seems to inspire me most is the characters themselves. I can’t plan out a book. I start with a character, and the character tells me their story. They come alive in my mind, and I get the fun of going on the ride with them.

  2. A video game indirectly inspired my first completed novel. I played the Prince of Persia series, and a fascination with ancient Middle-Eastern mythology and culture grew out of that. That extended to Indian culture and mythology, and try as I might to find books that fed that fascination, I couldn’t find many. I decided if I couldn’t find a book to read, I would write one. I had spent years leisurely reading up on the different cultures just shy of the Far East. For me, there is just something magical about it all. So that’s what I did. I took what I knew and had learned and spun it into my first completed novel.

    Reading Harry Potter inspired my very first unfinished novel. A second novel spawned out of the failure of the first. Reading about World War II in tenth grade U.S. History inspired my third unfinished novel, even though the novel has little to do with World War II.

    My most recent project was finally put to life after watching the new Alice in Wonderland film a second time. I’ve had the idea in my head for a long time, but for some reason, watching Alice in Wonderland managed to strike the right chord in my head. It has little similarity to Alice in Wonderland, so I found that rather odd. It’s more Neverending Story than anything, but it’s still not quite that either.

    I see no reason to feel ashamed to admit where your ideas come from. If that idea spawns a book that you’re passionate about, then who cares where the idea came from?