Starspun

So, Friday March 2 I wrote a flash fic (1k) story set in the far-future Forsyr universe shared with M Williams.  Because authors are often asked the question “Where do you get your ideas?” I thought since it’s all still fresh in my mind, I would share where I got mine.

  1. While working on designing my next embroidery project, I had a thought on twitter: Question to the universe: How come in fantasy the main female protagonist always hates embroidery? That’s it, #embroidery now = magic.
  2. This spawned a conversation with Niki Smith about Tamora Pierce’s Circle of Magic series.
  3. Then I decided to give my twitter embroidery project some superpowers. I also took a picture, whose colors inspired me. (Around this point I began toying with the idea of what sort of powers I would give embroidery instead?)
  4. Ever since I first set eyes on The Seamstress by JenZee, I’ve longed to capture a bit of the painting’s essence in a story.  While browsing through my favourites for brainstorming purposes, I also lingered over Cosmic Love and Forever in a dream by Alicechan.
  5. The song Lights by Ellie Goulding.
  6. A particular scene/image from Genesis Earth by Joe Vasicek.  You’ll know it if you’ve read it and Starspun ever gets published. 😉
  7. IR Photography, in particular the difference between a galaxy shown in the visible-light spectrum and the infrared spectrum.  Want an explanation? Visit Hubble’s Toolbox.
  8. Death by Black Hole by Neil deGrasse Tyson.
  9. The idea of all the elements being born from stardust left over from supernovae.
  10. The word “starguts”.
  11. I went looking for a flash fiction story that took place all in one scene, which is the format I had in mind. I found a good example in “Do I Tell Her?” by Stephen L. Peck, Daily Science Fiction’s January 16, 2012 story.
  12. The short story guideline notes I took at this year’s LTUE. Including but not limited to – “A short story needs an interesting character in an interesting place doing interesting things”, which I broke down into parts as I brainstormed like a checklist, and “If the whole story is about ‘what’s really going on’ and the reader gets to the end and says, ‘well, what happens next?’ then it’s not a short story.” You could argue with that last bit of advice, of course, but I decided to run with it for this piece.
  13. Previous world-building M Williams and I did back in June 2011 for the planet Forsyr.

Yes. All of that for 1k.  Now you see why authors have a hard time answering the question, “Where do you get your ideas?”

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2 responses to “Starspun

  • Eileen Rhoadarmer - Science Fiction Mommy

    I can’t say I’ve ever made a list like this–but it would be just as varied. What I always find amusing, after not having read a piece of my work in a while, is to see the little one-line inspirations like lines stolen from real-life conversations, or when a character has the same thought about a topic I’ve had in the past. They’re so small I forget I put them in at all, until I read it again.

    • Laura

      I’ve noticed that as well, when I’ve gone back to reread old stories–I see myself at that time. As if the story was a scent and the scent triggers memories.

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