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Where Does Inspiration Come From?

Since I launched the Facebook page for The Veil a few days ago, quite a few people have asked me where my inspiration comes from for the book so I thought I would add some notes to give you an idea.

There’s no fixed source of inspiration. It just comes and goes. Some days there is nothing at all, and others there is too much and my fingers can’t type fast enough. When this happens, I just have to bullet point the ideas and hope I don’t forget the main gist of the idea when it comes to put it into the story. Yesterday I had a flash in my mind that lead me to title all the remaining chapters in the book, so I know where it is going. I always had the end in mind and have been writing towards that, but I think it might change. Not sure yet. I’ll see how it pans out!

Today was an interesting day though. I had no idea what I was going to write about and quite literally, out of nowhere, sitting at the climbing wall between sessions over a thousand words just fell out of my head an into the laptop. And best of all, they pretty much made sense! I’ve just gone back over it and tweaked it a little and added a bit to the end, so now I can move on. Before you ask, I have no idea at all where it came from, other than I know I needed for something to happen during this particular part in the story, but didn’t know how to make it happen. It just appeared out of nowhere!

Other than ‘from out of nowhere’ (because I doubt that is a good enough answer for most of you), I find inspiration in all sorts of places. Sometimes I can be in Caffe Nero in Alton, Rumours in Four Marks or just walking down the street and someone may trigger off the seed of an idea. At this point though, I must make absolutely clear that none of the characters in the book are based on people I know! People-Watching is a bit of a hobby of mine and can often be having a conversation with someone and be watching someone else. I am fascinated by what makes people tick, how they move and the lives they lead. This, I guess is where most of the characterisations come from – a mishmash of people I’ve observed, how they behave etc…and then I put that mishmash into a new character for the the book.

Strangely enough, music has never been a huge part of my life. I have always been able to live without it, and working alone in silence, there is nothing to disturb you. It has become very lonely in the past, but when writing I find having some music playing that matches the mood of the scene I am putting down very helpful. Imagine watching a movie without a soundtrack. Without the music indicating the mood, the movie would be crap. So, I find that music appropriate to the mood of the scene makes the writing process easier. Perhaps I can feel the words coming out of the music that I want to write, but obviously not the lyrics of the song.

For The Veil, I may well add notes to manuscript as to what piece of music I listened to when writing a particular scene. A bit like a film score; reading the scene with the music playing at the same time will hopefully heighten the mood for the reader and make it more sensory experience. And we all know that music brings on emotions. Think ‘Jaws’ or the song you first danced to with your partner…you know what I mean?

So, with that in mind, I’ll post music and YouTube videos in this section to give you a clearer idea on where I was getting the inspiration from for that particular piece.

I think any writer would be telling porkies if they denied that personal experience is not a source of inspiration for them. Good experiences and bad are great sources of inspiration. Perhaps not the actual physical events, but the emotions that go with those experiences. I use my emotional memories to bri