Friday, 1 April 2016

Inspiration and Writing Prompts by Wendy H. Jones

As writers we get inspiration in many different ways, and in lots of different guises. Sometimes it feels as though we are stuck in mud and our writing is going nowhere. We just wish we could write something, anything, to get moving again. Sometimes we just feel we need a fresh idea to make our WIP more vibrant. So this blog post is designed to help and support those of us who need a boost.

Recently I have been driving the length and breadth of the country for both work and pleasure. With all the hustle and bustle and getting from A to B it would be easy to put my writing aside. However, I found it actually made me want to write more.

A trip to Inverary on the west coast of Scotland brought me this view from my hotel window. As a crime writer this was ripe for the picking. A moody loch, a shipwrecked boat, derelict mountains. It does not take a great deal of imagination to concur up scenes using these natural backgrounds. That's all very well for you I hear you say. You write crime. Good point. However, this would also make a great meeting place for a secret tryst. How about, a married couple trying to repair their broken marriage. I can just imagine a blazing row by the side of this loch.

It's time for you to try your hand at this. How about using this scene in your WIP. Or you could use it as the basis of a short story, a poem a haiku. You could also just use the general mood of the story to bring a scene to life. If you truly are struggling to write and don't feel you could write another word then you may be saying I can't do this, no one understands. I feel for you in this situation. It must be devastating. Find some paper and a pen now and write single words about the picture, anything from colours, through feelings, to physical aspects of the photo. You may want to try this even if you are not feeling blocked in your writing. It is a useful exercise. It will help you to bring depth to your locations making them more realistic.

If the picture does nothing for you then I have another exercise. Below I will put a couple of exercises using random words. use some of them or all of them to spark your creativity. They might take your WIP in a different direction or form the basis for a cracking short story or poem. The choice is yours.

1. Holiday, look, gray print, tan

2. Beautiful, repulsive, van, milk, high pitched

3. Hedge, game, sword, goat, tent

Something a little different today. Use the exercises in any way you can to help your writing move forward. You may want to use them as a springboard for your own activities. I hope you enjoy them.

About the Author

Wendy H. Jones lives in the beautiful City of Dundee, Scotland. The Detective Inspector Shona McKenzie Mysteries are set in this city. The first three books in the series, Killer's Countdown, Killer's Craft and Killer's Cross are available through Waterstones, Amazon and her website. The fourth book in the series, Killer's Cut will be released on 18th April, 2016. Her non fiction book, Power Packed Book Marketing: Sell More Books was released on 12th March, 2016.

DI Shona Mckenzie's Guide to Killing Your Boss is available as a free download from her website


  1. Thanks for these suggestions, Wendy. I sometimes find looking at competition themes (try Writing Magazine) can get my creative juices flowing. I'd also recommend joining a writing group, if you're not already in one - my group always does at least one writing exercise, which forces me to get on with it even if I'm not in the mood.

  2. I've got one of these at home. I've used it a few times - it's really good if your mind is completely empty but you know you want to write SOMEthing.

  3. Really helpful; exactly where I am st the moment. A little shove in the right direction for me, Wendy. Thank you.

  4. Thanks, Wendy, food for thought. I do love Scotland and those broody lochs.

    1. Scotland is certainly rich fodder for allowing your imagination to run wild