WHERE DO STORY IDEAS COME FROM?

I am often asked; ‘Where do you get your story ideas from?’ and I usually reply, waving a hand around vaguely, ‘Oh, everywhere, anywhere. They just come to me….’

Which is easy to say, but not the whole story. So where do our ideas come from? In my Kickstart Your Writing workshops, I look at the three most common places we get ideas and inspiration.

  1. From inside ourselves: the things we know about
  2. From inside ourselves: the unconscious – the things we don’t know are there
  3. From outside ourselves: the word around us

So let’s explore….

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Theatre Calls

“Ladies and Gentlemen, this is your half-hour call.

30 minutes please”

The half-hour call, known as the half, is 35 minutes before curtain up (in the UK. I believe it is different on Broadway.) The next thirty minutes are a busy and thoughtful time on any show.

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Where the Magic Happens

Behind the Scenes 1

There is something magical about Theatre. About the anticipation as the lights dim and silence decends. That expectant hush; the audience sitting in a charged space waiting for the lights and music, the performers and settings, to transport them into another world. 

Today, however, we are going behind the scenes to where the real magic happens. 

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Behind the Theatre Mask

I think most authors put a bit of their own lives into their fictional stories. The themes and ideas behind our books often come from our life experiences, our interests and passions. (About Me)

All writers take us behind the scenes of their characters’ lives and work. Through this, the reader gets a glimpse of a world they perhaps only know about from the front. This could explain why detective, courtroom and hospital dramas are so popular. As a child, I loved watching films about making films or putting on a show.  ‘Let’s do the show right here…’  was my favourite theme. It felt like a forbidden glimpse into the workings of the smoke and mirrors behind the façade. 

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How Creativity Can Save the World

‘I don’t have a creative bone in my body!’

Honestly, some said this to me once. 

It made me sad that people could believe this about themselves and this is why. 

I believe that humans are inherently creative. If we weren’t, we would still be living in caves and foraging for food. Human survival is a form of creativity and as none of us arrived in the gene pool last week, we all carry the seeds of creativity in our very existence.

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It’s Never Too Late!

‘I want to be a writer when I grow up,’ said a child version of myself.
‘Don’t be silly, love. They have people who do that sort of thing,’ replied the responsible adult.

I believed them, as children do, despite the fact that The Manchester Evening News had printed my stories and poems on its children’s page. 

Over the years, I discovered that writing was under my skin and however unsuitable or unlikely a profession, it was an itch that had to be scratched. I resisted making it my day job for a long time; it wasn’t for people like me. But whatever else I did, those characters kept tramping through my quiet moments and their stories filled my head, shouting to be heard.

Continue reading “It’s Never Too Late!”
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