Wednesday, 15 February 2012


How often are we asked, where do you get ideas for your stories? There’s no one particular thing that inspires me but a wholerange of different things. I often find when watching television dramas or films and even the news, that something strikes a chord ... the "what if" scenario. It might be something that might be applied to a story that is germinating somewhere deep down.

Places are another main inspiration. I can be driving somewhere, see a little track leading to a small cottage and wonder who could live there. Why are they there? What happens if they are snowed in? Flooded? There starts a story.
My visits other countries have inspired a lot of my stories, especially New Zealand. This amazing thermal park inspired "Hidden Places"

A visit to my son in Spain led to "I’ll Be There For You"

My home county of Cornwall is of course my main inspiration. This is the view from my "office" and has featured as a place in several stories, with a few alterations of course.

Sometimes, the characters come first. In what has become my Potteries saga about Nellie Vale and her family, the people always drove the stories and my own background as a potter’s daughter added the technical knowledge needed. Now I know them all so well, it has been very easy to write five of them featuring different members of the family. (Tomorrows Dreams, Dare To Love and Where Love Belongs are already published and the next is due in April. The title will doubtless change from my original)

Wherever the original inspiration comes from, my stories are character driven. I prefer not to plot carefully as I can then enjoy the events as they develop as a drama, romance or mystery. I want to keep going to discover what happens, though of course, I know the eventual outcome.

I use a lot of dialogue in my writing so I can sit chatting to everyone as I write. Speaking the words makes sure the dialogue flows. I do have to stop and make sure there is some actual prose among it.
Whatever the inspiration, let it germinate and the story, characters and the whole thing will work eventually.


  1. Haven't you got a lovely view! I think place is one of the things that inspires me most Chrissie. A place can exude an atmosphere so strong you are driven to write about it. I often get that feeling on holiday and start something while I'm there. The challenge then is to finish it quickly enough to remember all the details - although I do always now collect a folder of ticket stubs, pamphlets about places visited, underground maps etc to help me when I get back home! Cara Cooper

  2. Inspiration can come from almost anything no matter how seemingly unlikely.
    Love the pics Chrissie. If we had a view from our writing rooms like that it would be sooo tempting to gaze and gaze.

    1. Believe me, it is! It's an ever changing picture ... magnificent in storms, watching waves crashing against the cliffs, especially from behind double glazing. Maybe I will get used to it one day but then I might take it for granted.

  3. What a great thought provoking post, Chrissie.
    I can relate to everything you say.
    That spark of inspiration that comes from a special place, a mood, a memory, a chance meeting, or a snatch of overheard conversation, is grist to the mill for writers.
    The magic lies in how that fledgling idea is nurtured and, as you say, Chrissie, is allowed to germinate until the whole story comes together.
    Speaking of inspiration...what about that view from your office window? Who's a lucky girl?

  4. I agree, Chrissi, setting is always an important part in my story inspiration and evolution. I love showcasing places as an author and love learning about other places in the world as a reader. And yes, how about that view, hmm?

  5. Places as inspiration is so true. I was inspired by a visit to Oz and New Zealand to start writing again.

    What a fabulous view you have too - how lovely. We lived in Cornwall for a short time and I loved it.