Extract from BWT podcast episode 8 (Oct 2010) – ideas

This section of the hints & tips podcast is all about getting story ideas then I give you seven sentence starts picked from my http://twitter/sentencestarts page; each one, if you’d like to use them, for a daily writing project – feel free.

  • Take a look at www.scriptfrenzy.org’s Plot Machine. It gives you a setting, a character and a plot. The example on the home page when I looked last was ‘After a disastrous safari, a left-handed guitar player hot-wires an abandoned hot-air balloon.’ And like the NaNoWriMo Young Writers’ Programme’s website (which I’ll explain about in a minute) you can click on the ‘Go’ (or in the YWP’s case ‘Dare me’) button for alternatives.
  • In the last episode I mentioned newspapers as a great source of ideas but looking at the lonely hearts and agony columns can give you inspiration for characters and dilemmas.
  • Paddy Kitchen says that “Writers have long used other art forms as inspiration for novels: operas, myths, symphonies – even paintings. The more one is open to other fields, the more elements one gains for one’s own”. Fantasy author Owen Brookes (www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/b/owen-brookes) quite often finds parallels in music for themes in his writing, and a scene from his novel ‘The Gatherer’ was inspired by Verdi’s Requiem. Tchaikovsky’s ‘1812 Overture’ (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1812_Overture) is a classic example of emotional music with cannons firing! A segment of Orff’s ‘Carmen Burana’ (theme tune to the Omen films) is one of my favourites with its mix of quiet/booming sections although I’ve not written anything from it yet!

And episode 8’s sentence starts were…

  • I bent/lowered my head and waited…
  • Lorraine twisted her engagement ring round her finger nervously…
  • To lose it/him/her once was careless…
  • As the piano slipped from Trevor’s grasp…
  • “Let them wait, I’m not ready…”
  • Shaun opened the front door: and the heat hit him / and could smell burning…
  • Water surrounded the car as it sank deeper into the…

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