My Inspiration

- by ria, on Wednesday, 15th September 2010, 12:19pm

I’ve kind of touched on this before, but inspiration and ideas come from everywhere. Since I finished draft 3, I’ve found myself at a bit of a loose end. I’m not quite sure what to do with myself now. I figure I’ll move on to book 2. In this in-between-time, I’ve been thinking about how my book started out.

The story I tell in this book has been growing for the last 13 years or so. It started with a painting entitled Fall of the Rebel Angels by Samuel Forde (1828). The painting depicts Lucifer and his angels being cast from Heaven. It’s pretty dark, Michael or Gabriel or someone illuminated on high, and Lucifer and his boys falling into darkness. They look back at the archangel and that look speaks volumes to me. It is fear and longing and hatred and jealousy. But mostly it is regret. They don’t want to leave the light and fall into the darkness. But they are too proud to ask for forgiveness.

I used go into the gallery every weekend and look at that painting (it’s been taken down since) and marvel at The Fall. Some years later I got around to reading Paradise Lost (actually, I never finished it. I found Raphael totally boring and I stopped reading at the bit where he’s talking to Adam and Eve). There was one bit that really stood out, and that was when Satan has a moment of doubt. He’s plotting his revenge on Heaven, but for one moment he questions everything. He wants to return to the light, he wants to be good again, he misses the glory of the Host. He shows such weakness, such humanity.

That frailty wormed its way into my soul and took root there. In college I made animations and shorts that revolved around the idea of the fall. Most of the stories I wrote involved people being cast out, being filled with darkness at the injustice of it all.

Only recently did I realise how much Fall of the Rebel Angels affected me. I did not put these things together until I started editing draft 1. Draft 1 was pretty much a fall from Heaven. It was even called The Fall back then. It was about angels and demons and one angel’s fall from grace and subsequent exile. It was childish and cliché. But it was a base from which the current incarnation of my book grew. There is still exile and desire for revenge and weakness and doubt and grief. Perhaps it’s not laid on as thickly any more, but it’s still there.

I find it interesting that I’ve been writing this story for 13 years, that the inspiration has been with me that long. I wonder will getting this book finished and published satisfy that need within me to tell this story, or will pieces of it show up in things I do from now on.

Feel free to add any similar inspirations you might have, in the comments.

category: writing

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