Everyday Writing Inspiration

inspiration

A few weeks ago, I put the finishing touches to the first draft of book three – it’s called book three as I’m still deciding on the title. This next book is the follow-up to London Calling, the story of Jess’s flatmate Kate and her search for love in modern-day London. When you finish a first draft, there’s always a moment of elation, a big sigh of relief, but then the thought – what’s next? Getting inspiration for your next story is paramount and that means getting out there and experiencing life in all its glory…

Years ago, when I was music journalist, I interviewed James Blunt. He came bouncing into the interview and I quizzed him on his image – did he really lead the playboy lifestyle the media made out? He looked me dead in the eye and said: “Of course I do – how else am I going to get my material to write about?” And what James said made sense – far more sense than most of his music…

Last week, I indulged in the arts for inspiration – I went to see two plays at my local theatre and a philosophy lecture near Buckingham Palace. Striding past the royal residence, I was struck by its stature and wondered what went on inside its walls – was there a story there? In the philosophy lecture, I sat in front of two women having an in-depth conversation about an ex-boyfriend and how the other woman was going to cope as she was flying to New York the next day to teach yoga – could she be a character in my next book? After the lecture, I briefly got stuck in the basement toilets and frantically tried to twist the brass handle, wondering if I might be stuck there all night. I wasn’t, but how about that for a future scene…

This week, book three will return from its first reader, and then I’ll revise it again, before sending it to a clutch of beta readers to get their feedback. Then I need to hammer out a title and a cover, revise the book again, before it goes to my editor for the final rubber-stamping.

In the meantime, this week I plan to take a trip to see Still Alice to immerse myself in some emotional storytelling, as well as walking for at least five miles a day around London, spotting potential scene locations, noting down the seasons, spotting possible upcoming scenarios. Life is overflowing with potential story ideas, and writers need to be alert to the possibilites all around them every single day. Far from having writers’ block, I seem to be suffering with a case of over-stimulation…

Clare Lydon’s first two books London Calling and The Long Weekend are available to buy now! Book three will be out this summer.

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