Friday, April 8, 2011

Sources of Inspiration!

The topic this week for me was: what books or magazines do you turn to for inspiration and or writing help?

I'd say I turn to books for inspiration. When I started to write my novel, The House on Blackstone Moor I re-read all the Daphne DuMaurier  books I loved. The House on the Strand, My Cousin Rachel, Rebecca, Frenchmen's Creek and Jamaicia Inn.

YESSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!! I said to myself as I read that sweeping, beautiful and haunting narrative.

'Last night I dreamed I went to Manderley again...'  (Rebecca)
'They used to hang men at Four Turnings in the old days...' (My Cousin Rachel)
'The first thing I noticed was the clarity of the air and the sharp green color of the land...' (The House on the Strand)
'When the east wind blows up Helford River the shining waters become troubled and disturbed and the little waves beat angrily on the sandy shores.' (Frenchmen's Creek)
It was a cold, grey day in late November (Jamaica Inn)


Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights:
1801: I have just returned from a visit to my landlord. The solitary neighbor I shall be troubled with.'

Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre
'There was no possibility of taking a walk that day.'

Why those lines, you may ask!
They set the mood. They pull me right into the story. I have questions I want answered! What dream and why? Hanged men? Where is this going? The clarity of the air, what does that mean? Is everything different? And what about taking that seemingly much longed for walk--what was that about?!

The most haunting of them is the opening line from Rebecca. For what is more haunting than a dream? And why did this person dream she went there again...what happened there?

The other lines not only set the mood they intrigue us about the story. In short, they touch my soul. I feel those words, I really do. And because I do they inspire me to write the best fiction I can possibly write. Hopefully I succeed.

I think also that inspiration to write comes from everything around us. I am inspired by the walks I take with my dogs, the walks on farmland and moorland. The wind, the stormy skies, the sound of angry gusts blowing in the chimney are all inspiring.

Further, people are inspiring, a conversation I overhear--an accent. I am greatly inspired to create characters based on people I have seen and heard.

Television and film can also be inspiring. I see something remarkable in a film. Perhaps it's the story or the general atmosphere. One thought leads to another and another and another!

Inspiration can indeed come from the printed word. But it can come from the world around me, the world I am apart of. Stand back writers--take a look and you will open many doors! The road to inspiration lies just ahead!


  1. Carole,
    I agree, inspiration comes from everywhere. We never know what little conversation we overhead becomes a niggling idea for a story. Heck, I get inspiration from my chickens and their social life!

  2. I liked the reference to Daphne duMaurier, but I like her novellas "The Birds" and "Don't Look Now," as well as "Monte Verita," "The Apple Tree," "The Little Photographer" and "Kiss Me Again, Stranger" more so than her dramatic tales like "Key to Rebecca."

    And Sharon, really? You're invading the privacy of your chickens so you can get inspiration for your writing?

  3. They are very social, and they have rules, like who can roost here and where the hens lay their eggs. The roosters protect certain hens that, ahem, service him. If he finds a juicy bug, he'll cluck for them and his "girls" come running, sort of like a pimp and his stringers. Oh yeah, there's a whole world in a chicken yard.

    I sometimes wonder what they plot at night when I lock their door. In the dark, sounds of the wind whistling through the knotholes of the coop, owls and coyotes making their night time hunting noises....scaring little unprotected creatures...

    A fine feathered horror, to be sure.

  4. CHICKENS1 i love it!
    I won't be able to eat chicken now. I mean it. I took a look at the spring lambs near where we live and I won't eat lamb now. Husband says they use older 'lambs' that don't look cute. but I don't know.

    and now the serious reply:
    Sharon yes, it does come from all over. for the longest time i didn't know that to be true for myself. but when it all clicked one day i knew i would write and be able to think of more than one story.

    And Gregory, so true! didn't think of those!
    Don't Look Now is a tremendous story!

    they found very recently an unpublished story of hers written in 1925, really freaky (in other words, my kind of story)!!! i'll look for a link!

    thanks guys!


    here you go! More than one story but the doll one is most interesting to me!

  6. Thank you, Carole. Now I cannot wait until I start my next project. You've really inspired me for that first line... I think we're having chicken for dinner tonight, by the way. Is that bad?

    horror of horrors.
    you devil! why not write a horror story, REVENGE OF THE CHICKEN!

    you see this character called James writes an award winning piece of fiction because he was INSPIRED only during the night...he hears something and OMG! IT'S A DEMONIC CHICKEN! argg!

  8. I own one of those demons. His name is Blanche, and I still have the scars to prove it.