Marissa Halvorson is the author of Dark Rose, a short story included in One More Day, an anthology by L. S. Murphy, Danielle E. Shipley, Kimberly Kay, J. Keller Ford, Erika Beebe, and Anna Simpson. We asked her to describe where her inspiration comes from.
Ideas. They come from a variety of places, and a variety of things. People, surroundings, books, films, and even conversations. Ideas change as we develop them, and sometimes they change so radically that they are no longer even recognizable for what they used to be.
I honestly cannot tell you where my ideas come from. Sometimes I get ideas in the shower. Sometimes I get them in class at school. Sometimes I’ll get them helping a customer at work. Sometimes I get them re-reading over older work and sometimes they come from watching movies, television shows, or even from hearing singular words or phrases spoken by someone I know. Generally I need to have some sort of inspiration, but that’s a general guideline.
When I read the prompt for One More Day, an idea formed in my head almost instantly. The idea was not what I had for Dark Rose—it wasn’t even close. The idea centered around a girl who had a countdown of ink on her hand that was out of her control. Each day, the ink would go down a number, but she had no clue what would happen when it reached zero. The idea was that the world would freeze, but I had no clue what would happen after that.
The idea changed at some point. I had my notebook open in front of me, and I was trying to write this story. But I couldn’t figure out where it was going. And because I couldn’t figure it out, the story went nowhere. And a story that goes nowhere is not a story at all.
I realized I would have to change it. But I didn’t have any new ideas, so I left it for a while. Finally, I determined that I was going to just sit down and write a story. And I did. The idea didn’t seem to come from anywhere. I just sat down and wrote it—the only time I’ve ever been able to do that successfully.
Ideas change. I can’t speak for other authors, but as for myself, my ideas rarely remain the same as when they started. It isn’t just a matter of the prose changing during edits. It’s a matter of the story and how that story sits with me. I may like it, but that doesn’t mean I have enough passion to bring it to life. Maybe that story is meant for someone else. Maybe it’s something I’ll write in a few years. Whatever happens, the point is that it is okay for ideas to change. It is good and it shows progress. If your story changes from what you wanted, let it. You might surprise yourself.
Marissa’s dream of writing came about when she was ten, after reading a particularly inspiring story of dragons and elves. She instantly fell in love with the fantasy genre, and characters soon began to manifest to satisfy her adoration. It started with a forty page handwritten novel, which she dubbed “Dragon Girl” and continued on to more challenging (and better written) works.
Now, Marissa can often be found to be studying literature in English class, curled up at home with one book or another, or with her eyes glued to the computer screen as her newest set of characters manifest. You can find her online on Facebook, Twitter, her website, blog, or on Goodreads.
- ARC Review: One More Day by L.S. Murphy and Various Authors (kookiekrysp.com)