Once Upon a Time by James Christensen
What better way to be inspired then by collecting stories and characters from the fairy tales and folklore all around the world. The original way is to listen to the stories you hear from other people, and that still works. But with the advent of the internet we have an endless supply of fairy tales and folklore at our fingertips. Plus there is still the good old fashioned book.
There is a great list of people to look to for these kinds of things: The Grimm Brothers, Charles Perrault, Andrew Lang, Hans Christian Anderson. I think thats where I plan to start. I've got the Grimm Brothers collection and a Hans Christian Anderson, but the other two look fantastic. It's amazing to look at each of them and see what stories we owe to them.
There are lots of ways to use folk-tales as inspiration in your own writing. You can use them directly and put your own twist on them. The new Red Riding Hood movie did that. Or you can do a blend of them and see what you come up with. Even for us mainstream writers, though, there are proven plots and character types that come from these stories that are usable in any genre, and can actually do a lot to help. Think of how many wicked stepmothers and kindly strangers we have in literature that probably all originate from these fairy tales. The more you know, the more you can use. So get reading and writing :)
And of course, I could not let F day pass without sharing one of my favorite all-time scenes from probably my all-time favorite show. If you have the same poignancy and sweetness in your writing, I want it.
p.s. Back to the design theme, I'm having a minor frustration (there's an F word :). I've been trying to work with the blog description text to make it slightly more legible, but the template designer won't let me change it, though it will let me change the title, and the trying to fiddle with the HTML isn't working either. Any ideas would be fantastic!