Monday, 12 August 2013

Turning Days Out Into Story Ideas

"People always want to know: Where do I get my ideas? They're everywhere. I'm inspired by people and things around me." Gwendolyn Brooks

These past few weeks I have been making the most of the summer holidays and having lots of family days out. Although this has taken time away from my writing in terms of words on the page, it has helped me come up with so many new story ideas I don't know what to do with them all.

As an example, a trip to local lead mine gave me the idea for a murder taking place there. The section of mine that we went in had a constant flow of water running through it (about 6 inches/15cm). This water flows out of the mine and is channeled down to the washing floor, where young boys had the job or washing and sorting the rocks and picking out the galena (mineral form of lead). I suddenly had an image of the blood from a murder victim washing out of the mine and over these rocks where the boys were working. 

We also took a walk along the forest trail behind the mine and came upon a derelict 17th century cottage (see image). I have about ten different stories I want to write that are set in this house, ranging from a witch's tale, to one about a group of teenagers staying here for a dare.

So far, every day out that we have had has led to a new idea (not all of them involving murder), inspired by the places and buildings and the stories they hold, as well as the people we met.

If you haven't done it already, think about the last day out that you had and mine it (pun intended) for ideas. I can guarantee that no matter what genre you write in, there will be a story in there somewhere. Don't believe me? Leave a comment telling me about your last day out and the genre you prefer to write (unless you have no preference), and I'll help you find the story.

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