The Importance of Inspiration In Creating Fiction

One of my all time favorite works of fiction has to be “Frankenstein,” by Mary Shelley. I assume most of us know the premise of the novel and why it is so well known, as a small child I even knew about the story (without even reading it) simply because “Frankenstein” was so deeply embedded within pop culture and references to the novel were littered throughout television. However, when I was in my sophomore year of high school I finally got to read “Frankenstein” because of an English course. It was an amazing experience.

Mary Shelley’s ability to craft horror within her novel must have horrified most of her audience back when the novel was originally published, 1818, but that ability to scare still remains, as I found her work to be very believable and realistic. Shelley created Dr. Frankenstein and his scientific method with the intent to make it seem believable and she was even influenced by some of the advancements in science during that time period.

However, to me, the most interesting aspect about the birth of her masterpiece is the inspiration she had to create it. The Atlantic does a better job of explaining her initial inspiration, even covering the belief of many skeptics that say she probably exaggerated her account of the inspiration in order to enchant readers, but supposedly it was a combination of the scientific talks she had with her “group of intellectuals,” and a horrifying nightmare where she saw a sequence involving a mad scientist standing over the body of what appears to be a monster (resembling a man) who comes to life.

To read more about Shelley’s inspiration, check out this article written in The Atlantic:


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