What do the following have in common? A rustic stone church in Boothbay Harbor, Maine; Mt. Etna; the Temple of Zeus in Agrigento, Sicily; the old merry-go-round in Oak Bluffs on Martha’s Vineyard; the Chihuly Glass Museum in Seattle; and the Palantine Chapel in Palermo. (click here to see pictures)
All of these are sources of inspiration for my next novel, the sequel to There Comes a Prophet.
I’ve always believed that the difference between the creative and non-creative person is not the ability to come up with new ideas, but rather being open to them when they present themselves. That’s why it’s so important to write regularly.
When I’m writing every day, I live in two worlds, the evolving world of my story and my real life, day-to-day world. As a result, when I see something that strikes me, my mind starts making connections. The places I visit, the images I see morph into scenes in my story. What would the mood of the setting be like? What are the sounds? The smells? How would my characters see it? Would they touch the ancient stones and flashback to their own past? Would they scoop up a fistful of volcanic soil and, finding it hot, appreciate the immensity and power of their world? In what way would these experiences change them and therefore alter their actions and the course of the plot.
Out comes my smart phone. I take a few pictures, and type some hasty notes. Then, when I get home, I rough out a new scene. Does it always fit in to the story? Of course not. But it gets my creative juices flowing.
When I reread a copy of a soon-to-be-submitted novel for the final time, I always wonder how it all had come to pass. It seems like a mystery, a miracle of the muse. But I know this: if I’m open to new ideas and follow their threads, one thing leads to another. A paragraph gets written, then a page and a scene. And a couple of years later, after much blood, sweat and tears, voila–instant novel.
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Genre – Contemporary Fiction, Fantasy
Rating – PG