Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Inspired by What?

People say the most amazing things on the internet. Today I saw the most creative, most vulgar way of expressing disregard for someone’s opinion. When I got over the shock of seeing those words in that order (on what amounts to the front page of the newspaper), I immediately started trying to turn it into a line of dialogue.

It was everything a metaphor should be. It was descriptive – it immediately painted a vivid picture in my mind. (Oh, how I wish it hadn’t.) It was economical – in a mere five words (four if you leave out the f-bomb) it expressed a depth of loathing and contempt that is rarely seen in essay-length work. I was almost jealous of the mind that came up with it.

Except I can’t imagine ever being comfortable having those words associated with my name. Do I really want to be known for saying that? Granted, it was creative – a perfectly crafted metaphor, but I don’t want my characters to say it. Even without the f-bomb.

So I filed it away. Someday I’ll have a character who needs to express that level of disgust with someone. I’ll pull out that metaphor, dust it off, and rewrite it to be something I wouldn’t be ashamed to have people read. That one bit of vulgarity inspired me to create something that expresses the same depth of feeling, but wouldn’t make a sailor blush.

For me, inspiration can come from anything, anywhere. What about you? Have you ever been shocked by what inspires you?