Unlikely Inspiration

Isn’t it funny how people can go through life and never notice little things that we writers find immense inspiration in?

I don’t understand it. It’s not that I’m continually on the look-out for inspiration (mostly inspiration just bashes me over the head with a club and pulls me back into it’s cave), but I can’t help noticing the little details of life that get overlooked by non-writers.

Take today, for example. I was working on a patient’s shoulder (remember I’m a physical therapist?), and I was explaining how important the shoulder muscles are, what they do, and the fact that they’re much smaller than their lower body counterparts. A little anatomy lesson: the shoulder is basically the hip joint of the upper body, but it actually does a great deal more than the hip. And the muscles that control the crazy things we do with our shoulders are fairly small. Especially when compared to the large spinal and leg muscles like the quads, hamstrings, calves, etc.

Anywho… I suddenly thought: what would it be like if the muscles that controlled our shoulders were just as big as the ones that control our legs? If we had muscles the size of quads controlling our shoulders, what would the outcome be? Would the power of those muscles make every single baseball pitcher throw over 100 mph? What would someone like that look like? If I invented a new creature who looked like that, how would people react to him/her?

Well? Think for yourself what your shoulders would look like with muscles the size of your legs instead of the spindly little muscles that currently control our most versatile joint? Can you picture it?

I sure can.

See what I mean? Now all I can think about is naming my new creation, and using the laws of physics, mechanics, and kinesiology to understand how a creature like that would move and be. And how I could weave it into my stories.

How can people not see the potential of a story in the seemingly insignificant details of everyday life? Anybody got a clue? I’d sure love to hear the theories.

You get ideas from daydreaming. You get ideas from being bored. You get ideas all the time. The only difference between writers and other people is we notice when we’re doing it. ~ Neil Gaiman


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