A common question we writers get asked is, “what inspired you to write this book?” For some of us, that’s a much harder question than it might seem. When I started writing my debut novel Code of Darkness, I don’t really recall a moment before where I decided exactly what the book was going to be about – it was more a process of starting to write, and then seeing where it would go.
For me, a novel isn’t always the result of one big epiphany, but rather the sum of a bunch of smaller discoveries you make along the way. More often than not, those discoveries are going to make a good story even better. I’d get moments of inspiration for storylines, characters, details, plot twists, even a metaphor here and there. Some of them fit perfectly into Code of Darkness, others were so good I had to find a way to work them in, and yet others wound up not quite making the cut. It just depended on what I needed for the story and when I needed it.
How does a writer get these moments of inspiration? Well, that’s different for each of us, I’d guess. In my case, there are two things. The first is going somewhere and clearing my mind. I’ll go out for a run or bike ride, and just let all thoughts of the day be wiped from my brain for a little bit. This gives my mind a little room to let the imagination work: my thoughts will wander to a project I’m working on, and all of a sudden I’ve built up four or five scenes, or a key detail, or a plot twist. It does wonders.
The second source comes from just keeping my eyes and ears open. While I’m out working, commuting, playing with my kids, whatever, I never know what might strike me as something I can use in my story. It could be a conversation I overhear, something I see happening on the street, or any other everyday occurrence that might somehow spark a thought in my mind. It’s amazing how much source material is out there, if you just keep your eyes and ears open to it.
And that’s how I get my inspiration: piece by piece rather than all at once. Now, what inspires your writing?
About the Author
Chris Lindberg was born and raised outside Chicago, Illinois. After graduating from Northern Illinois University in the mid-1990s, he headed out to the west coast for a couple of years, where he began writing as a casual pastime.
Some time after returning to Chicago he began attending writers workshops at StoryStudio Chicago, where he wrote two character studies, both of which have since been developed into key characters in Code of Darkness.
Chris now lives outside Chicago with his wife Jenny and their two children, Luke and Emma. You might catch him working away on his second novel while commuting on his morning train into the city.
Chris Lindberg’s first novel, Code of Darkness, was released in August. You can find out more by visiting www.codeofdarkness.com, or visiting Facebook and searching on “code of darkness.”
To purchase Code of Darkness in paperback or e-book edition, please check out: http://www.lulu.com/browse/search.php?fListingClass=0&fSearch=code+of+darkness
Or search “code of darkness” on Amazon or BN.com.
You can also email him at firstname.lastname@example.org – he’d love to hear from you.