The main characters for 'The Seer and the Sword' made an appearance one night and then haunted me for over five years before I began to write them down. Does that count as inspiration? For me, characters tend to show up, stay on to help with the work of writing their stories, and then occasionally deign to visit after a book is finished.
'Seize the Story' takes readers all the way through the process of writing fiction, from beginning to end. Every element, from dialogue to setting, plotting to character creation, is laid out and illustrated with examples. But the tone of the book is not that of a dry writing manual - it's definitely written for teenagers.