What inspires you to write?
I’ve gotten this question more than a few times. And to answer it fully would literally take me forever, because I get inspired every day. I’m constantly writing little notes in my journal, in my phone, or on whatever scrap of paper I can get my hands on. My inspiration come for movies, TV, books, friends, family, life… I’m constantly watching and listening.
But, enough about my writing inspiration. What I want to know is… What inspires the authors of some of my favorite books? Here’s the hard part of answering that question… I can’t just call them up and ask. So how do enquiring minds get a glimpse at their favorite author’s literary muse?
Well, here’s what I think… In the first few pages of some books, there are quotes from a different books. I like to think that authors inspire other authors. And although, a single quote may not have sparked that author’s entire book, it inspired them enough to include it in their published work.
Here are a few quotes I’ve found in the first few pages of some of my favorite books.
The Book of Negroes – Lawrence Hill
I have set before thee life and death,
the blessing and the curse.
Therefore choose life.
So geographers, in Afric-maps,
With savage-pictures fill their gaps;
And o’er unhabitable downs
Place elephants for want of towns.
Shatter Me – Tahereh Mafi
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
–Robert Frost, “The Road Not Taken”
Paper Towns – John Green
And after, when
We went outside to look at her finished lantern
From the road, I said I liked the way her light
Shone through the face that flickered in the dark.
–“Jack O’Lantern,” Katrina Vandenberg in Atlas.
People say friends don’t destroy one another
What do they know about friends?
–“Game Shows Touch Our Lives,” The Mountain Goats
When Everything Feels Like The Movies – Raziel Reid
I guess I am a fantasy.
The Infinite Sea – Rick Yancey
My bounty is as boundless as the sea,
My love as deep; the more I give to thee,
The more I have; for both are infinite.
Eve – Anna Carey
Maybe I really don’t want to know what’s going on.
Maybe I’d rather not know. Maybe I couldn’t bear to know.
The fall was a fall from innocents to knowledge.
–Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale
These are just a few of the quotes I’ve found at the beginning of books. Are there any quotes in the first few pages of your favorite works?
Good luck and good writing