It would be great if there was an ideas bank where you could go and withdraw inspiration when you’re running low, but for me I find the more I write the more ideas seem to pop up, and they’re everywhere.
I’m particularly inspired by ‘first line’ prompts, which is where my story The One That Got Away came from, though I tweaked it slightly afterwards.
A few months ago my daughter phoned on her way to work in a panic, with the immortal words, “It’s only half past six and I’ve killed a cat.”
I think I managed an appropriate response, but I was secretly thinking what a brilliant first line and subsequently sold the story.
Sometimes a line on the news or in a TV drama, or in a newspaper or magazine, or an overheard snippet of conversation in a cafe, will plant itself in my head, and I know there’s a story lurking that I want to write.
That was the case with Ghosts. I read a feature in a Sunday supplement about a woman who’d returned to the house where she’d endured an unhappy childhood, and was pleased to see it was now a home filled with love and laughter and that she was able to finally lay her ghosts to rest.
Sometimes I even wake up with stories half-formed in my head, though they sometimes turn out to be ridiculous!
It must be like exercising a muscle that keeps growing stronger, and it’s got to a stage where I’m subconsciously seeing stories everywhere.
I just hope it continues.
You can read The One That Got Away and Ghosts in Tears and Laughter and Happy Ever After now, on kindle!