Sometimes when I talk to people about my quest to become a published author, they ask me where I get ideas from for my stories. I think they expect me to say that there is some magic repository somewhere that I reach into for inspiration..
However, the truth is a lot more prosaic. I get ideas from all around me; listening to music, watching movies, reading books, overhearing snatches of conversation, personal experience, things that people around me have done, or have talked to me about, playing the ‘What If’ game. Sometimes it can be as simple as visiting a place with my family, as below..
This weekend we went to the Spyglass and Kettle pub for a coffee and to have a catch up with my family and I took a fab pic of the sky over the sea in Southbourne whilst I was at it (see pic).
Whilst we were there I was talking to my stepdad about when he is planning to retire, which led to a conversation about the proposed removal of the default retirement age and the ageing workforce and – ping! I had a moment of enlightenment for Beth, the main character in my full length MS Random Acts – and the relationship she has with her mum.
We also managed to fit in cleaning the whole house (yawn!) and walking our puppy, Jackson, not once, but twice this weekend. We had great fun taking him down to Delph Woods, where he insisted on picking up sticks twice the length of his body and knocking us over with them, and swimming way out of his depth.
This area is only a ten minute drive away and just like last weekend when I realised how lucky I was to live near the beach in Dorset, today I really appreciated how lucky we are to have some very pretty woods so close to home (no, I am not trying to boast!) – pretty amazing when they’re in the middle of a fairly built up area and only fifteen minutes from the town centre.
We met loads of people walking their dogs and they were without exception warm and friendly and all too eager to stand and chat with us whilst the dogs played. And it struck me that there are few situations in life where people are so open to socialising – it’s like dog owners have their own unspoken club, because we have been to the local park and the woods many times before and seldom have we spoken to so many and varied people. Again – ping! it gave me a great idea for how one of the secondary characters in Random Acts is going to meet her new love interest.
Would love to hear how or where you find inspiration for writing.
Take care, Nikki.