Writers look everywhere for inspiration. The world outside, a piece of artwork, a dream, their family, a bottle of ketchup, a cup of coffee. Here is a lesson in finding inspiration through your pen.
Er…What Are You Talking About?
What is the last pen you used? What did it look like? What does it feel like? Can it really be inspirational?
Allow me to explain something about pens. We all have them. Some of us have a box full, others have one good one (but probably have others lying about), some of us have a collection stolen from banks, others have a load of charity pens that came in the post and so on and so forth. But, every pen has its own personality, it’s own attributes that we award it.
Take this Banner for example. It’s the pen I was using this morning, The pen is cheap, uncomfortably hard to write with, but the ink runs smooth, it lasts a long time, still, the cap doesn’t fit on the other end so it’s prone to getting lost, the closer you get to the most important part of the pen (the nib) the rougher the surface gets.
Ta da! Do you see the character yet?
The pen has just created an interesting character with flaws and traits that we can connect with:
Someone who is hard to get along with, uncomfortable when dealing with people, yet works really hard to do the right thing, to keep things running smoothly. They have a habit of misplacing things. The more you get to know them (the closer you get to their heart) the more you see the roughness of their life, the damage they have shouldered. Yet, underneath that hard exterior they are a caring person.
Now do you see? Try this with your pen. Note: You do not need to stick to characters, this works with environments and situations too.
So, Any Pen?
Yes. Any type of pen will work with this. Look closely at your pens, you will find they ahve different shapes, different styles, some will be easier to write with, others will keep failing, some are nicer to hold then others.
Try it with a few pens. Every pen can be interpreted differently.
Do you need a basic idea? Try a pen you once ‘borrowed’ from a bank. Do you want a more complex idea? Try one of these amazing pens.
The Ancora Casino pen (pictured above) speaks volumes. What kind of person will hold this pen. It’s a limited edition so I assume that the holder has money, it’s made out of quality metal holds a refined look, feels smooth to the touch. It has a piston convertor on the inside. What could this represent? It is thicker then normal pens, would this represent a thick head or a toughness of the skin? Why the flashy colours? Self confidence or a boastful attitude?
To me this pen tells me about a bad guy. An affluent bad guy who boasts his position, has the power to push the odds in his favour. The metal is his stronghold, filled with gold leaf and hardened security. The piston convertor is his way of sucking other businesses into his own, destroying small independent ones and using them to profit his won big wallet.
What do you see?
Pens With Meaning.
Of course, not all pens are just going to be a case of define the meaning through it’s look. You also have pens that incorporate meaning through the things it’s made off. A recycled pen for example, what would the ‘recycling’ part of that pen say to you?
How about pens that incorporate Gem Stones? A Pen with Sodalite, for example, this pen would suggest someone good at communication, self-expression and truth, or maybe (taking things to the next level) an object that can talk, is aware of itself and only speaks the truth. Don’t forget to take the look of the pen into account! This is a Sodalite pen (below) kind of suggests something magical, maybe a talking wand?
Now let’s try an Amethyst (intuition, balance, high wisdom) or Moonstone (intuition, sensuality, safe travel). What would you create out of a pen that holds one of these?
I am not here to take you through hundreds of stones and their meanings and how you can incorporate them into a story, not in this post anyway. But, if you wish to check out some more stones you can find them here.
Wooden Personality Pens.
This one is pretty awesome. I took this personality quiz myself and found that my wooden personality pen was a pen of Graceful Maple. (You live a balanced, yet somewhat successful life. This is because you are adaptable to many situations, intelligent enough to forge your own path and generous to those around you. The maple signifies the arrival of Fall, the peacefulness of the heart and the pursuit of serenity.) I really like the pen itself and the idea of the personality behind it then realised… What if I take the quiz from the point of view of one of my charachters.
So, Bee Couragous. A quiet girl with no family and a few friends. Loyal to a fault with her friends, Has a big personality when it comes to her clothes, loves music and has a big heart. Knowing this I took the quiz again from her point of view.
She’s a Box Elder. This fleshes out her personality so much more!
Is it just for characters? No. Towns can have personalities, hidden worlds can have a personality, objects can (if done right) even world auras’ can hold a personality, or a house, or a little annoying imp that hides in the fridge. The list goes on.
What Story Will Your Pen Write?
Next time you pick up your pen to start writing something, look at it, take a good look. What wonders does your pen hold? What personalities can you make from that pen? Would you use that anywhere in your writing?
The world holds so much inspiration for us, we simply need to look.