Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Where do writers get their ideas?

Every writer is occasionally asked where they get the inspiration for their plots.

Ideas can come from anywhere.

For romantic novelists, there is a safe supply of tried and trusted plot devices – marriage of convenience, secret baby, feuding families, beauty and the beast, etc, etc.

Another great source of ideas is newspapers. For example, in yesterday’s paper (I live in the UK and read The Times) we have the makings of a great adventure:

A 3,988 ton cargo ship Arctic Sea goes missing in the English Channel. Vanishes. Disappears without a trace. This is not a rowboat, but a huge vessel with a crew of 15. The ship was carrying a cargo of timber which wouldn’t sink, but would float over the sea even if the vessel itself broke up.

What happened? Where did it go? And how could this happen in one of the world’s busiest shipping channels? In the age of technology which puts our homes on Google Earth and has most of us captured on CCTV countless times each day.

Maybe tomorrow’s paper will tell us…..

But the best story ideas come from real life. My favorite one this week is:

The Girl with the Ice Cream Cone

On Monday, at 6.30 in the morning, on my way to work, I drive along my usual route through a pretty village. A young woman walks down the street, carrying an ice cream cone in her hand. It’s an enormous ice cream, not the kind that comes in a foil wrapper, but a crispy golden cone absolutely heaped with vanilla ice cream. The girl isn’t eating, not even taking a little lick to taste. She is just walking along, the ice cream carefully balanced in her hand. At 6.30 in the morning. In a village without shops. The ice cream hasn’t started melting at all, so she can’t have come far.

Her blond hair bounces against her shoulders as she strides along. She wears pink trousers and a green jacket which convey a bold fashion sense.

Where did she come from? Who is she? Where did she get the ice cream from? Why isn’t she eating? Is the ice cream for someone else?

One of my future books will have a scene with a girl walking down an empty street at 6.30 in the morning carrying an ice cream cone….

Love from Tatiana

1 comment:

Genella deGrey said...

What bizarre stories! I was thinking she made a fake one for a film shoot or something - but you said it was in a village? Probably not much film making going on there . . .

My other half drove by a tire place here in Los Angeles right at about twilight. He saw this hulking man in the middle of the courtyard of the fenced-in, closed for the night establishment. The man stood there as if frozen and didn't move the entire time. On his way back past the tire place, the man was gone.

Totally spooky.

Blog Widget by LinkWithin