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12 March 2014 John Lennon sang.

Hey surely you knew it was only a matter of time before I chose that song for a blog post.

Today I'd like to have a chat about inspiration.

As good as my imagination is it's often things that I hear or read that inspire me to think about what's going in my book.

For example my youngest is poorly at the moment.  He has what can be called Smacked Face Syndrome.

My wife calls NHS Direct (it's a medical helpline for those outside the UK reading this) and explains that he has come home from the child-minders and she, the child-minder, thinks he has Smacked Face Syndrome.

The idiot on the other end of the phone, who obviously wasn't listening properly, then asked my wife, "Sorry your son has come home from the child-minders and she has smacked his face?"

That's the sort of path that leads down the slippery slope to Social services etc.  But it would be a great to use in a book in one way or another.

I read a story about De Beers making diamonds rather than mining them a couple of days ago and I've already used it to suggest a plot device to another writer.   Even if they don't use it there's tons of scope from just that one story.  You can read it here if you want:

Those two sources of inspiration came to me not because I was looking but because I'm open to the idea that there's a story in everything.

But then there's also times when I'm actively looking for inspiration.

Take this image for example:

I was looking to get an idea of how my swashbuckling steam-punk heroes would look and came across this image and I think it's great as a starting point.

Then of course there's always other books, like the Musketeers, we can use to stimulate our imaginations you just have to be careful not to directly plagiarise them.

At the moment I'm trying to look for names for my characters.  I really want to call one of them Concord but I'm looking for a name for the reformed thief out of the four.   As part of my search I came across this little gem:

Which may well prove to be useful at some point and has definitely been bookmarked.

I'd be interested to hear any inspiring anecdotes you may have to share.


1 comment:

  1. Hi Phil,

    I find one of the best sources of inspiration to be found by reading newspapers, interesting websites and looking into the histories of people and places, and I agree with you that images are great for sparking off new ideas. I filled my own blog post with elements from the history of Ramsey Abbey which inspired my story: