Friday, 10 June 2011

Thinking space?

Where to get some thinking space?
If, like me, you have a full-time job (teaching, planning, marking, meetings, etc...) and a busy family life (3 loud, boisterous, children), where do you get the thinking space you need to develop your ideas? Move the story along? Come up with clever / sexy / humorous / dramatic repartees? Or just indulge in a little bit of dreaming about your characters and what they might be thinking and feeling?
Driving into work is good for finding thinking space. It takes me about 45 minutes on fairly quiet country roads every morning to get to work, during which I often, but unfortunately not always, come up with at least ONE new idea! In the evening, however, my head is too full of work related stuff to take advantage of the drive home.
I also snatch a little time when I cook the family tea in the evening (I keep a notebook handy next to the cooker, just in case a great line crops up).
The best time, however, is at the week-end. Saturday and Sunday mornings. Early. Even if it rains, as it usually does up here in the North of England.
I leave the noisy household behind...

For one hour, all this is mine. And it usually does the trick.

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Inspiration... How does it start? How will it all end?

Sometimes it’s a song. A line from a poem.
The memory of a place I went to. Or I dreamt of.
Words I heard. Yesterday. A long time ago.
A face. A smile. Dreamy eyes.
That’s how a story starts for me.
The plot, the characters, the places are interlinked from the beginning. The characters come to life, the ideas change and the storyline meanders, shifts, stalls, starts again. I write and rewrite. It becomes complicated - too complicated. And I get stuck. How will it end? How can it end?

I have reached that painful stage with my new story. Almost there, but still a long way before the end.
Time to go for a walk.

This is the poem I've loved since I was sixteen. The inspiration for my new story. It sounds better in French, but there you are... And this is the place where it all takes place! Sadly I have no photo of the hero since he only exists in my mind. For now.

There is an air for which I would disown
Mozart's, Rossini's, Weber's melodies, -
A sweet sad air that languishes and sighs,
And keeps its secret charm for me alone.

Whene'er I hear that music vague and old,
Two hundred years are mist that rolls away;
The thirteenth Louis reigns, and I behold
A green land golden in the dying day.

An old red castle, strong with stony towers,
The windows gay with many coloured glass;
Wide plains, and rivers flowing among flowers,
That bathe the castle basement as they pass.

In antique weed, with dark eyes and gold hair,
A lady looks forth from her window high;
It may be that I knew and found her fair,
In some forgotten life, long time gone by.