Inspiration is a great thing, and it often comes when you’re least expecting it. Try to sit down and pull a story out of the air and, chances are, your .doc will remain blank. However, delve into the thousands of ideas, images and characters that are roaming around in your head, and you’ll more than likely find something to get those fingers tapping away.
For me, inspiration arrives in two main forms; either a huge crashing explosion of a new story idea or the subtle and gentle flow of consciousness that occurs when I write. My latest WIP, the yet un-named science fiction novel, was inspired by a enormous crane pulling down the old block of flats that I used to live in. It looked like a dinosaur, a giant beast of some sort, tearing away at the fabric of man’s creation. ‘How can I include that in Inside Evil?‘ I thought. I realised that I couldn’t fit it in, not really, and so a new work was born. A work that has grown into something quite different from that first image which was conjured into my mind all those years ago.
Aside from these very visceral images that create new WIP’s, I find that other inspiration takes a more subtle approach and I don’t even know it’s there until it releases itself into my work. As a trained zoologist and professional gardener, I surround myself with nature, creatures, bugs, plants, and this has very gently found its way into my work. I never sat down and thought ‘Right, today I’m going to include a spider in my writing.‘ However, when I was first writing Mrs Peacock’s scenes (Inside Evil) Elrick just kind of appeared. From nowhere. Today I was gardening again at a client’s and what should I find but this very cool yellow crab spider. Perhaps it, in the past, was the subtle inspiration for Elrick and the purple ink spiders that followed in The Tower of Souls.
I’ve been using Pinterest for a few months now, mainly as a way to collect inspiration for gardening and home decor, but have decided it might be a good idea to share images which have helped, and continue to help, create the Inside Evil worlds, creatures, characters and stories. I’ve created a range of boards, including ‘Inspiration for Inside Evil‘, ‘Inside Evil character inspiration’ and ‘Music I listen too whilst writing‘ to draw together some insights to how I, myself, see the novels. I’m sure I’ll be adding more boards over time too, as further ideas come to me.
As a slight aside, the ‘Inside Evil character inspiration‘ board won’t have actors or actresses that I think look like Roberta, or Sam, or Martha. I’ve made a conscious effort to avoid describing characters too much in the books, as well as avoiding character imagery on the covers because I want people to make up their own minds on how they see people. Of course, I might post Martha’s pearls or Sam’s glasses, but I won’t post my thoughts on character faces. However, you will see images of people that readers have suggested – particularly the first image of Martha, who one reader imagined as looking like Felicity Montagu in Bridget Jones.
If you want to follow me, then just tap the little button below and you can peruse my boards, and even join up yourself. It’s a great way to create mood and inspiration collections whether you’re a reader, writer or dreamer.