19 January 2015

Writing Inspiration

'Where do you get your ideas?' 

This is a question writers are often asked. Some manage to think up amusing answers, but basically ideas come all the time. The thing is recognising them as possibilities and remembering them. As an illustration, here are a couple of incidents that happened to me recently. 

There is a local café we visit on a semi-regular basis, perhaps every couple of weeks for weekend brunch. About a month ago, we saw one of the guys that works in the cafe going into a house not too far from where we live and guessed he lived there or was visiting a friend. The last time we were in the café he served us, and we mentioned in passing that we'd seen him over the Christmas holidays. He replied he didn't live in the area and hadn't even visited it. Hmmm interesting! It wasn't important to us, so we simply said we must have been mistaken, but we knew we weren’t. Why was he there and why did he deny he’d been there? If you were writing a murder or mystery, the answers to those questions would be different than if you’re writing a romance, but there are plenty of options.

Another incident occurred last weekend during a walk along the beach. We approached a couple of picnic blankets spread out in the shade of a tree. On the blankets were various bags, food and belongings, at least I guess that’s what they were because the things were covered by another picnic rug. Ironically, or perhaps purposefully, the lumps and bumps made by the possessions under the blanket looked very like a body. If I was writing a murder mystery, it wouldn't be bags and food hidden by the rug!

Using our imagination can be lots of fun and there is inspiration all around.


  1. Interesting post, Shauna, to one of those perennial questions readers ask! I get my ideas while researching family history. All those skeletons in cupboards and dark family secrets! I'm always coming across something with potential for use in a novel, which I file away for when I need it. The perfect inspiration for the mysteries I write!

    1. Oh yes, always lots of things people like to hideaway (physically as well as metaphorically). I bet you get wonderful ideas. Lots of fun and as you say, great inspiration.