Julie Kagawa: Finding Your Inspiration

Inspiration is sort of a magical thing. Everyone is searching for it. And when someone seems to have a lot of it, we turn to them for advice. 

At Figment, we try to provide you with lots of inspiration. And that includes talking with some of our favorite writers about what inspires them. Because sometimes even talking about inspiration can be inspiring. Right? Right!

Today, we’re chatting with inspiration-master Julie Kagawa, author of the Blood of Eden series (you can start reading the newest installment, The Eternity Cure, right here on Figment)! Check out her inspiration and then share your own. Our five favorites entries will be featured on the Figment homepage!

“Where do you get your inspiration?”

I think every writer has heard this question once or twice. How we come up with our stories, plots, characters, etc., seems to be such a nebulous and magical thing; as if we have a library of “inspiring” books, movies, or songs to draw upon whenever we need an idea. Truthfully, inspiration comes not from a single source but from life itself; our experiences, how we see the world, what moves and motivates us, is all very different.

Though there are things that inspire us more than others. For me, much of my inspiration comes from video games.

Yes, you heard me. Video games. PS3, Xbox 360, PC, you name it, I have it. (Sadly, the Wii and I have decided to call it quits for now.) Now, before I am bombarded with the “video games rot your brain” and “video games are bloody and violent” arguments, let me explain.

Julie’s gaming room: “Why yes, that is a huge pull down projector screen for gaming, thank you for noticing. And individual leather armchairs for ultimate comfort while you game. Yes, you may be jealous. ;-)”

I am an avid gamer, and what draws me to certain types of video games are the stories they tell. A video game is another medium of telling a story, and can be even more immersive than a movie perhaps, because you are the one controlling the character. My favorite games, the ones that inspire me the most, have beautiful, complex, sometimes tragic stories running through them. My absolute favorite games are the ones that can make me tear up at the end (Dragon’s Age, Final Fantasy 10, Mass Effect 3 for anyone curious). Because you’ve spent a great deal of time with these characters, have seen them fight and struggle and win and lose, and when their story comes to a close, it’s like saying goodbye to an old friend. These types of games inspire me, push me to make my own stories, my own characters, better. And if that’s not an argument against “all video games do is rot your brain,” I don’t know what is.

But this isn’t a post about video games. It’s a post about inspiration. This is mine, but everyone is inspired differently. The important thing to remember is this—when you find your inspiration, don’t let it go to waste. Use it. Whether you write, draw, paint, sing, or make birdhouses out of matchsticks, creativity is a gift that should be encouraged, no matter what inspires it.

Writing Challenge

The Eternity Cure by Julie KagawaWhat inspires you? Is it music, books, movies, even exercise? Share it with us! Your entry should be no more than 50 words and should include the tag InspireChallenge. The challenge runs until Tuesday, May 21 at 11:59 p.m. ET. Figment editors will be reading all the entries and we’ll choose our five favorites to be featured on the Figment homepage.

The contest is open to all users. Please read the promotional guidelines for full contest rules.

Contest Entries

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20 thoughts on “Julie Kagawa: Finding Your Inspiration

  1. My inspiration comes from history. But not the stories you get from text books, but the stories you hear from people. Human testing in Nazi Germany. Poverty in Uganda. The constant ongoing war’s in Afghanistan. It gives me inspiration because I can create the happy ending that never becomes true.

  2. Oh. My. Word.
    I squealed at the mention of Mass Effect 3. I own the whole series, and it was brillantly executed; I cried my eyes out. The storytelling was superb, the characters were real, and the whole experience was something incredible. She really described the whole feeling to a ‘t.’

  3. I noticed that one of the contestants submitted an entry that is just under 450 words long, and that it is counted as one of the entries. However, in the contest description above, it is stated that an entry should be no more than 50 words. I was just curious if the 50 word limit was a typo, and we’re actually allowed to write more than 50 words.

      • Oh, joy, thank you! I was getting worried for a bit because I submitted an entry under 50 words, and I was wondering if I was supposed to have written more. Thanks!

  4. Oh I LOVE video games with good stories or characters – I adore this one game series called Kingdom Hearts where I’ve been waiting for the third game for years, I have to know how things end!

    • Aah! I love KH too! It’s so amazing, I cried so hard at the end of 358/2 Days! Find me, my username’s Endless!

  5. ANIMEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE
    AND MOVIE TRAILERS.
    I WROTE A WHOLE BOOK BASED OFF THE FIRST 2 SECONDS OF OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL.
    BUT MOSTLY ANIME.
    AND GRELL KEEPS SHOWING UP IN MY BOOKS! I DON’T EVEN TRY ANYMORE

    • Hey!

      As long as your story is:
      Tagged correctly
      Published (not saved as a draft)
      Created between the start and end of the entry period

      You’re entered!

  6. Yes! I’m not the only one out there who appreciates video games for their stories! I honestly think that the writers for some video games are absolutely brilliant the way they come with some of the characters and back stories of their games. Portal and Portal 2 are my personal favorites right now (:

  7. Saw Tidus in the picture for this article, instantly clicked it ^_^
    I cried for about half an hour after the ending of FFX, although I will say I prefer FFIX. Honestly, the story of FFIX is one of the main reasons I decided to be a writer. The characters and story telling were superb and the ending… wow TT_TT
    Video games are a great story telling medium that include great stories (in good games, bad storylines in games annoy me), game playing and music. (Nobuo Uematsu is my favourite composer 😀 )
    A good game will leave you satisfied for a long while after the credits roll :’)

  8. Oh no, I´ve just realized that mine is too long! Am I still allowed to edit it even if I already tagged and published it?

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