Mary Shelly had gained an interest for writing stories as a child but she had preferred writing things like others did. She writes “I was a close imitator – rather doing as others had done than putting down the suggestions of my own mind.” This started to change when she got married as her husband pushed her to become famous from the start.
The idea of Frankenstein came to her in 1816 when she and her husband visited Lord Byron in Switzerland. During one of the many rainy days of that summer, they read many ghost stories and Lord Byron proposed that they would each write a ghost story. Shelly spent many days trying to gain inspiration for her horrific ghost story and it was after listening to a conversation between Lord Byron and her husband on the nature of the principle of life and the experiments of Dr. Darwin that she finally found the inspiration she needed. Shelly didn’t sleep that night but instead spent it imagining the story to the extent that she scared herself, she thought “What terrified me will terrify others”, and in the morning she started writing it down.