How do you find your inspiration? Where do your ideas come from? And what does it mean to you to write something original? We all want to be inspired, to be kissed by the muse – but is this really a passive act for the artist, or can he do something to get it? My experience confirms the latter. You have your own creative process in your hands, you can control it and you can actively let yourself be inspired if you feel like it open
The construct from the film Matrix as a metaphor for inspiration
Sources of inspiration
If you are afraid of the blank sheet of paper, this metaphor might help: Imagine an empty space, like the construct from the film Matrix. Although the room is empty, it is not completely isolated from the outside world. We can load anything into this program that also exists in the Matrix. The situation is similar with the white sheet. The basic building blocks, the raw material, already exist out there. Now it’s up to you to load and evolve this material into your construct.
“Invention isn’t about creating something out of nothing, it’s out of chaos.”
– MARY SHELLEY
For material development we need the right tools:
- Copy: Take over.
- Vary: Change something.
- Combine: bring different things together.
How creative your work is depends on how you use these tools. This process takes place mostly subconsciously. With many things we don’t even know where we got them from until, perhaps long after, we rediscover something from our past and see the parallels.
“The David was stuck in the marble block from the start. I just removed what didn’t belong.”
Authors often start too late with original work. They take on too much of an existing story and try to express themselves in the scenes, characters and dialogues afterwards. As a result, the original film idea remains recognizable and its story follows a familiar structure. To avoid this, you should already use the tools in your narrative concept. If you have a well-known story, think carefully about how you can tell it in a new way. The concept should already be in your idea and not forced on it from outside. For example, look at how the following films are told:
BACK TO THE FUTURE
“It’s not about where you get something from, it’s about what you make of it.”
– JEAN-LUC GODARD
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