Working With Inspiration

I publish a weekly Story Starter Writing Prompt image, as you know. But yesterday I stumbled upon a new idea….

Yesterday one of us was asked to provide a reference for a former colleague seeking a new job. That’s kind of by the by, but at the same time I was pulling together the story selection for a future issue. Just look at the titles: Messages From A Stranger, Project Garden, Wishing Well, Light At The End Of The Tunnel. They seem almost to suggest their own narrative, don’t they? And it’s a narrative not a million miles away from that reference request.

I do love a coincidence like that. It’s like the cosmos having a wee giggle to itself.

But it struck me as a novel way to inspire a story. Have you ever tried constructing a story from the titles in magazines? Actually I’ve just remembered that one of my long past Story Starter Writing Prompt images did something similar. It was a selection of books on a table with the idea that their titles would suggest a narrative. So not a new idea but a recycled or resurfaced one. You could do the same with your bookshelf.

On The Road

When I go out on the road with “The People’s Friend” story writing workshops, this is one of my favourite sections: Inspiration, where to find it, what to do with it, and how to develop it into a story.

It’s always fascinating to hear a writer like Kate Blackadder explain exactly how a story of hers has grown from the initial idea. There’s nothing like hearing the thought process in step by step detail.

A number of you will be heading off to the Scottish Association of Writers’ annual conference at Cumbernauld this weekend. Although I’m not attending this year, our Alex is, to talk about features. I can recommend going to along to his features writing workshop, to hear his advice on this same process of developing an idea into a fascinating feature.

And don’t forget you can read more about finding inspiration in our Writing Tools….

Shirley Blair

Fiction Ed Shirley’s been with the “Friend” since 2007 and calls it her dream job because she gets to read fiction all day every day. Hobbies? Well, that would be reading! She also enjoys writing fiction when she has time, long walks, travel, and watching Scandi thrillers on TV.