Writing Inspiration

Writing Inspiration

One of the most common questions you get asked as a writer is “Where do you get your ideas?” The answer is technically a very simple one: Everywhere.  

Sometimes I wake up with what I think is a brilliant idea in my head from a dream that Ive had.  Generally though I’m in such a rush in the morning that I never write them down so when I try and dredge them up from my memory hours later, there is nothing but a wisp of an idea left.  God knows how many best seller’s Ive let drift away while I’m eating my breakfast. 

I’ll get ideas when I’m out walking my dog too, just pottering along, wittering away to myself and to him.  These thoughts generally involve being chased through woods by monsters or finding dead bodies in hedgerows.  As yet, neither has happened, although I did find a hidden grave once.  I suppose there’s some truth in the old adage that its always the dog walkers who find the bodies eh?  

Looking for monsters in the hedgerows

My ideas come from conversations, from the news, from an interesting person that I’ve observed sitting in a restaurant.  They come along when my husband says something daft (often) or when Ive had a couple of glass of wine (also often).  They come from from the seasons, from feelings, from…life.  

The inspiration for “Hypnotic” came when I was watching one of Derren Brown’s spectacular TV experiments.  I’m a bit of a fan of Derren Brown.  Not a weird night vision goggle wearing, stalker type of fan.  More of a follow on social media type.  He would be pleased to know this, although the first option gives much more oomph for a story (walks off to find a notepad to scribble idea down).  

Anyhow, remember that experiment he did where he basically hypnotised a volunteer to shoot Stephen Fry?  That one.  It was called ‘The Assassin’.  I’d watched it for about the millionth time and I just couldn’t get a buzzy little wasp of an idea out of my head that started forming around it.  Man alive, that wasp was annoying and it kept buzzing around inside my head until I eventually went out and bought a rather gorgeous notepad and wrote it down.  

Of course it started life as something completely different to what it is now.  The basics were always there, but I couldn’t figure out how to tell the pesky thing when one of the characters spent most of their time in a bloody trance.  

More on that next time… 

Sherry x

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