Last night I watched Design Star on HGTV.
Two teams of five designers each designed bare enclosed terraces. Each of the designers chose a musical instrument for inspiration. So each terrace was to reflect the inspiration of five different musical instruments as interpreted by five different designers, yet each terrace had to work together as a whole. Much like a piece of music does with all the different parts played by different musicians.
One terrace accomplished this feat. The other did not.
As fiction writers, we experience this type of coming together in many ways.
Although we create our characters, we all know how pig-headed they can be. They take on lives of their own. It's our job to see that they follow their inspiration but still play well with others.
When we're fortunate enough to land a book contract, we work with possibly an agent, certainly at least one editor, maybe someone from sales who would like a ton of information ... yesterday. It's our job to make this work as a whole, not just part by part.
This all comes about because something inspires us. Maybe it's a trill in a piece of classical music. Or the solid bass in a hip-hop song.
Or maybe it isn't music that inspired our creation. Maybe it's a place you visit, a memory from a dream, a snippet of overheard conversation. Maybe it's like the grain of sand in an oyster. Something you had to write about because that grain of sand irritated the fire out of you. Anything can serve as our inspiration.
Someone much wiser than I am - Thomas Edison - said success is 10% inspiration and 90% perspiration. All you who are writers know that's true. Don't be afraid to take your inspiration and sweat over it. A lot.
Whatever inspired you, hang onto it. Nurture it. Sweat over it. Watch it grow and develop between Once Upon a Time and They Lived Happily Ever After.