Inspiration. The essential ingredient when it comes to writing. I’ve talked a little about it before, but I think I need to expand, because for me it is not the lack of inspiration which prevents me from writing, but the lack of time. Holding down a full-time job, one that takes all of my energy, makes for difficult juggling of the hours. By the time I get home I am simply too exhausted to do anything other than make some dinner, watch a little TV, then go to bed. All I’m left with is the weekend, and something invariably comes along to get in the way. The guilt then sets in, and I begin to feel deflated, depressed even. Because when I am not writing I am rudderless, drifting aimlessly. I fight it, but life always wins through.
Life. My god, there’s a topic for at least a hundred thousand blogs.
So, back to inspiration.
Personally speaking, the love of writing is inspiration enough. I remember Stephen King talking about simply sitting down and writing. The process itself is sufficient to remove the dreaded ‘writers; block’. And I think that’s true. His book ‘On Writing’ is a true classic, a wonderful insight into one writer’s mind, how he works, what he considers ‘good practice’, or indeed ‘good practise’. Both fit perfectly with his way of thinking. Elmore Leonard’s ‘Ten Rules of Writing’ is the only other book of this type I would consider keeping on my bookshelf. A brief but insightful guide from a master storyteller. He’s not everybody’s cup of tea, but he has an enviable way of painting pictures with words that make his books simply buzz along. You don’t have to think too hard with Leonard. And if want to be entertained, then that’s surely how it should be.
I want to entertain with my words. I’m not so pretentious that I think that what I have to say is in any way important. My books are to be read to be enjoyed, nothing more. I don’t make social statements, or philosophise about this and that. I simply tell stories. I love Henning Mankell’s Wallender books, but some of his others, where he goes on about the changes of society, they leave me cold. Sorry. Each to his own, I know. The thing is, if I want to know about all that, I’ll read non-fiction. We should know about such things, of course we should, but…
The problem is, I’m going to contradict myself now.
Not everyone likes non-fiction. Some are put off by the very nature of those two words. Many like to read fiction, for example, which is historical, and they can learn a good deal about the past, how personalities changed worlds, etc, without actually realising it. However, we must always be aware that what we are reading is fiction, not fact. Just as when we watch Braveheart we don’t believe it actually did happen like that. Because it didn’t. It’s when fiction begins to dress itself up as fact that we have to take care. We, as writers, should never purposely mislead our readers.
So, what has any of this to do with inspiration? Well, there I was, teaching my class of twelve year olds about one of the great mysteries of the early Middle-Ages. The curious death of William II, in the New Forest in August, 1100. Shot by Walter Tyrel. Dead. A terrible, tragic accident. Or was it? Could he have been…murdered…? And it struck me, right there, just like that fateful arrow….why don’t I write the story? So I sat down after my class and, armed with paper and pen, I sketched out the story, from beginning to end. Twelve basic scenes that will intertwine and bamboozle and leave the reader suitably satisfied and entertained. Not twisting the history, rather embroidering it. Using the facts as a vehicle.
Only then did it even cross my mind to consider if anyone else has actually written such a story.
So I checked that mine of information on all things literary – Amazon. The well-thought of Edward Rutherfurd, Marilyn Durham, Jo Beverley (a very personable author) and…Well, that’s about it really. Some others mention poor old Rufus, but only in passing. Really, it’s only Durham’s book which goes into detail. So, even though the story’s the same, the telling will be different, and the characters, the scenes, the plot…
You see, the juices have begun to flow, and this is the reason I write. To enter into a new world, of my creation. I love it.
To discover something of what I do, why not visit my website, www.stuartgyates.com where you will find links to my books and how to buy them. Thanks for visiting, and keep reading.