You walk past a thousand stories in one day. What will you do with them?

This week the spotlight shines on Devon McLaughlin, a fantasy author hailing from Delaware.

I asked Devon about what inspires her writing. The answer she gave is fantastic, and she even offers some great advice to budding writers in the process.

So, Devon, where do you get your writing inspiration?

It is a bit like trying to explain to a scientist what “love” is. A writer’s inspiration can be smoke and mirrors…or quite tangible. You walk past a myriad of different stories every day. What you do with those ideas is up to you as the writer.

I write fantasy and gothic paranormal because I enjoy those subjects. I write (and read) to escape. And I am not the only one.

For many of us the simple question “What if?” can supply lots of story fodder. What if your parents never met? What if you grew up on another continent? What if Hitler had never been born?

Sometimes inspiration comes from unexpected sources. The story line for my book Wanderling’s Choice came from a dream I had which left the character in a bad place and made me quite sad. I wanted to give her a happy ending.

When I get stumped on a certain scene, I sometimes take a break and watch a movie. After seeing “Phantom of the Opera,” I was inspired to write twenty pages in my story even though it was a completely different topic.

(Now “Phantom” may not inspire you to write, but at the time it was just the kick in the pants I needed to get going.)

I find inspiration in things that tug my heartstrings. Therefore a story wherein a favorite character is killed—or one is led to believe they are dead—is inspiring to me. I also love anything historical, and so putting a new twist on a well known story can start the process. And I enjoy character development…because villains are endlessly fascinating! What makes two people (who both go through the same horrible event) turn out so differently? While one person rises above his inner darkness, the other is twisted by it. Why?

Never stop asking “Why?” Never stop asking “What if?”

You do indeed walk past a thousand stories in one day. What you choose to do with those stories is up to you. Allow nothing to limit you. There are no limits.

Very inspiring, Devon, but uh…does this mean that we’ll have to read about the death of our favorite character? I’m a little scared!

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