Writing: On the Spot Inspiration

Where does writing inspiration come from?

I suppose every writer would answer this in different ways. I love what I call “on the spot” inspiration, when an idea suddenly strikes me out of the blue and it is seemingly unconnected with anything else I had been previously thinking.

Then from that small kernel, a solid idea is formed and I’m off on another escapade of discovery. (For me, that’s code talk for writing.)

Here’s one rather recent example. For whatever reason this phrase popped into my mind: If Love is a Crime, String me up.

I was struck by the beauty and bluntness of this phrase. I had never heard it before. I suppose someone else could have said it at one time or another and who knows what it would have meant to them. Once I had this phrase I had to discover what it meant for me.

So I wrote it down and just started thinking. What types of settings could a phrase like this become a reality.

It wasn’t long that I came into the idea that this phrase has something to do with the Underground Railroad. An escaped slave from the south. A person offering love and protection on the most vulnerable of humans.

From there, I wrote a short play entitled (not surprisingly) “If Love is a Crime, String Me Up.” The setting and words flowed beautifully and I crafted what I believe is my most poignant and beautiful script I’ve ever penned. Maybe no one else will like it, but I love it. It has three wonderful characters and about a 10 minute running time, but it tells a very beautiful and poignant story about a woman who is going to chose love no matter what.

I’m excited to be adding this play to the collection of plays which will be performed by my drama group The RLT Players in Penang this coming November.

I love writing like this. Find a word or phrase that sticks in your mind. Then figure out what it means and write something meaningful based upon it. It’s a great exercise of discovery.

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