When you write romance, you can find inspiration all around you. Go to a nice restaurant, or the mall. There will be couples holding hands, trading soulful glances. The mating dance will be played out for you in any number of iterations.

Where does the romantic suspense writer find her inspiration? The news headlines? If you troll the internet and look at the news services, you can find all kinds of real life stories that would allow a writer to fantasize and start a ‘what if?’ scenario.

I like science fiction. I write futuristic romance. You want to know where I find my inspiration and story ideas? TED Talks. The idea behind TED is a fascinating study. A bunch of people got together and invited great minds to present their findings in 18 minutes or less. It’s grown since then, but it’s still short discussions by people in all kinds of fields talking about their research, their findings, their studies.

It’s science and technology in small bites that are easy to assimilate.

It’s cutting edge science from the chick that’s powering batteries with viruses. It’s high tech discussions about how algorithms are shaping our lives. Even innovation by the children’s book author who has created a kid’s book for the iPad where the parents change every time you shake it. Mike Rowe discusses what he learned from filming ‘Dirty Jobs’.

So when I need inspiration, I look at TED. I peruse the latest studies by scientists unraveling the genome of the Neanderthals. I see the chaos theorist talk about gaming. I watch the biologists cautioning everyone about contagion and travel in today’s world. I watch the MIT researcher who’s working on self assembling and repairing buildings.

There’s a wealth of science story ideas there on TED. I can make it into fiction, but it’s reality for someone. When I need inspiration, I know where to go.

–Sandee Wagner

9 thoughts on “Inspiration

  1. I haven’t spent a lot of time watching TED talks, but I’ve *really* enjoyed the ones I’ve seen!

    I saw a talk from 9/11/11 about an emergency rappelling device that was inspired by the 9/11 events. I know that all inventions are driven by a need, but that one was fascinating.

  2. Do they put it in simple enough terms for the science-challenged? It sounds cool, but I wonder if it’ll be over my head.

    On the other hand, I’d watch Mike Rowe talk about anything. Love that guy!

    • Marilyn,

      It’s absolutely simple enough for anyone to understand. That’s why it’s so much fun for someone like me! I do not have a science brain, but they make it make sense to me. spw

  3. I know early SF writers used to get their ideas from science and engineering journals. Most of my inspiration comes from the need to love and be loved.

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