When asked how I go about creating and writing my stories I would so love to say there is a complicated almost algorithmic approach, with mind maps and other intricate terminology and thought processes.
Alas, I am more your have an idea whilst cleaning the oven or washing the dishes kind of writer. That is not to say I don’t have a plan, an idea of where the story is going, who will do what and where. The reality is I am influenced by so many factors; what is going on around me, what I encounter in a day to day environment. I have a basic idea of the whole story, the details come later.
As an example; names I use for characters are so very often ones I have loved the moment I heard them, even from my childhood. Locations are an enormous factor for me. I am always keen to use locations I know something about. Very often I have visited, lived there myself or know someone who has detailed knowledge that can be passed on. My aim is to bring a location alive for the reader, make them feel they are in the room, at the beach, restaurant…whatever.
I am definitely a writer whose creativity is haphazard. I do try to always have a notebook with me as my inspirations can be fleeting and need to be captured instantly. If it is not written down it can be lost. I confess I have been known to scribble on a napkin, old envelopes..you name it.
If I do find I am stuck as to how to get to a desired point in my storyline, I have a tendency to read, listen to music, go and become involved in something completely unrelated to writing. My mind then seems to reboot itself. Never would I consider myself the intelligent writer, relating more to the almost cartoon character writer. The humorously perceived image of odd shoes, mismatched outfit and being a little bit out there is much easier to uphold and infinitely more me.
My biggest piece of advice to any writer would be don’t ever throw anything you have written away…ever. No matter how bad or irrelevant you may think it is at the time. Something made you write that particular piece. I have lost count of the times I have scribbled something down, often not even related to what I am writing about at the time, but at a later date it has become part of or inspired something else. In writing, nothing is ever wasted, keep it…keep it all.
As with most creative endeavours there are huge periods of self-doubt but you must stay brave and have the courage to follow through. There may even be many outside doubters along the way but writing is a solitary pursuit therefore you must only rely upon yourself. Stay strong always.
A friend gave me a plaque which sums things up nicely:
Wish It, Dream It, Do It!
I personally am a secret fan of the occasional cliché.
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Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for Brenda’s book ‘Deceived’. In the meantime, check out our selection of books here: https://www.cranthorpemillner.com/shop/