The thing about writing is coming up with brilliant ideas that no one else has thought of before. Having said that, you can’t be too off the wall either, 😦 Your work needs to fit within a genre, but be new and exciting. Even old stories can have a new edge.
Okay, so where do writers find inspiration?
I guess this is one of the most commonly asked question heard by most published authors at book festivals.
Most authors and that includes myself will tell you they come from everywhere. A comment on the street, a line of poetry, a misheard quote, a scene in a film, a story in the newspaper, and even a dream… or sometimes a nightmare. The places are endless.
It isn’t the finding of an idea, the seed to your story that’s the most difficult part. I’ve plenty of ideas sitting in a folder on my computer. It’s what you do with them that’s the hardest part.
Ideas don’t come fully formed. I know, it’s a real pain, isn’t it.
It would be brilliant if they did. Then all you would need to do is write them down. Upload them to an agent, who hopefully would wet themselves to sign you up, and pay out huge sums of lovely money for your completed novels.
No, an idea is just a spark. Sometimes you may get lucky and have a bit of a raging fire, but most of the time it’s just a sliver of an idea and you’ll need to build on to it.
There has been two occasions just recently when someone has said to me, “I’ve got a great idea why don’t you write about when we were young and did ‘such-&-such’ now that’s a story I would read”.
That’s the thing. What happened to us in the past is a great teenage memory, something we may wish to relive over drinks, but to make it exciting for others to read it would have to be completely rewritten that it would no longer be recognisable to anyone who shared the moment with us.
This is the difference between writing fiction and nonfiction. Fiction is to tell a story with drama, excitement and tension, to carry the reader to another time and place. To make them step into the shoes of your main character and be carried along, to leave the real world behind.
To tell the story of the real event is to tell it from a factual point of view. Though this can be done in an interesting and exciting way the story can’t deviate from the fact which may leave parts of the tale dull and uninteresting.
The short story I’m tackling at the moment has to have elements of truth to it, a true crime story told in a fictional way, but told from the landscape itself. How the landscape was effected by what happened.
It makes for interesting mind games as I puzzle the problem over.
Have a great Easter and I shall catch up with you all again soon.
P.s I’m now a grandmother to little Lilly Paula Maria 7lb born yesterday morning. Father & Mother doing fine too.
(Just click on photographs to enlarge them)