Today I wanted to talk to you about location, location, location. If you are ever stuck for an idea when writing, a really good place to start is exactly where you are. I’ve been part of a writing workshop when someone has used this as a prompt for ideas —sent us off around the house or garden of where we were staying and told us to find a story. Look around you right now. Is there anything that could set you off on your next adventure? An unopened letter, or unopened book? A stranger walking down the street with a burden of secrets or a message for you? Something magical hidden among the yellow leaves? Someone about to knock on the door? Something that shouldn’t be there?
I spent last week up in St Annes near Blackpool. After a busy day in schools I was able to take a walk on the beach. The sea goes out a heck of a long way there so it took fifteen minutes to reach it. Once out there the busy shore with its cafes and supermarkets seemed worlds away. it was just me, the sea and a few birds, oh and those wormy things that throw up sand spaghetti. I’m yet to see one but you see traces of their passage everywhere you look on a British beach. I did feel as though I’d crossed the bar into another world. I could have walked on into a magical land, or back in time, or to the future – it had that feeling of a place in between. And this was just a short walk for a Tesco Metro. What magic awaits you a short walk from where you are, I wonder?
I’m also inspired by much busier places than this. My latest book (writing as Joss Stirling) is set in the midst of a music festival – check it out in the book trailer below.