Dystopian creative compost

Creative writing, Dystopia, Ideas, MA, Sounds, Strange

I’ve been away for a while. I wish I could say that I’ve spent the summer writing, but, alas, no. Life, innit. My MA Creative Writing course is now in full swing, so I really have to give myself a good kick up the bum. I’ve had lots of ideas, lots of thoughts, lots of story concepts flowing out of my exhausted brain onto my giant Trello board and I’m ready to go.

I’m moving away from short horror stories to ‘dystopian and strange’ short stories. I mean, there’s certainly no shortage of inspiration in our current climate. Many of you may be feeling, like me, anxious. The world seems to be going to pot, and we’ve got the unknowns of Brexit coming soon (maybe). My MA will be my cathartic outlet, my therapy, for addressing the state of the world. I’m not sure what will come out of me yet, and it may take me to some dark places, but I can’t wait to get there.

I’m also listening to ‘Ghosteen’ – a lot. WOW. Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds will get us through this. What a beautiful piece of art; devastating, haunting and inspirational. I am sure it will be the soundtrack to my MA.

About Me

Authors, Books, Cooking, Creative writing, Family, Films, Horror, Ideas, MA, Open University, Parents, Pets, Staffordshire, Travel, Voice, Yoga

I’m currently studying a MA in Creative Writing at the Open University, a course I am finding very challenging but it is motivating me to progress with my passion. It has taken me to surprising places and has also made me delve into some uncomfortable territory, writing in different voices I have never encountered before. I have started this blog as I want to share my writing, but also to use this as a forum to discuss the art of creative writing, what books we’re all currently reading and author inspirations.

I’m a Mum of one human and many animals, I’m always rescuing stray pets! I live in the countryside in Staffordshire and it is my peace and calm. I also enjoy yoga, cooking, travelling, films (I lean towards horror and independents) and family time of course.

Where do your story ideas come from?

Creative writing, Family, Ideas, MA, Open University, Parents, Syd Field, Three Act Structure

Where do your story ideas come from?

The more I write, the more ideas come to me. I find them everywhere, from news I hear, from magazine articles, from conversations I earwig on, through to just those things that strike me at 3am in the morning.

Inspiration is all around us, we just have to take note and listen to ourselves.

I lost my writing mojo for a long time, probably around eight years. This is also the time I met my future husband and our first child came into our lives. I always felt ‘guilty’ for leaving the writing behind. But it never left me. It was always there and I picked it back up when I was on maternity leave, enrolling in the MA Creative Writing course with the Open University. I’m now back into the thick of it and finding ideas are coming at me thick and fast.

I usually get a spark. I have a physical ideas book that I usually scribble one or two lines into. Some examples of recent entries:

  • Naturism
  • Chef – you’re on the menu
  • Room service – ghost? killer? maid? They have seen things
  • Lifetime supply of something.
  • Run – how do you know when to run?
  • Pregnant overnight
  • The clinic – flu vac clinic but it’s actually killing people
  • Telephone calls from the dead

Revisiting these ideas, where did they come from? Naturism, I have no recollection. A chef who serves people up on the menu is an idea I’ve had for years. Room service ghost etc… – perhaps American Horror Story. Lifetime supply of something – magazine article. Running – I had an idea about when to run away from something, but again I don’t know what sparked it. Pregnant overnight – this is the subject of my second tutor marked assignment. The clinic – a visit to the flu vac clinic. Telephone calls from the dead – my friend is a parapsychologist who is a researcher on this subject.

So, it’s all around us. Write down your ideas. Look back at them. I work in Syd Field’s three act structure so I always look for three ‘Acts’, or beginning, middle and conclusion. Can my idea be developed into something like this? The potential is usually there. It’s up to me to shape it.