I was all set to write about something poetic for you today. Then I went shopping. Suddenly, before I’ve even had my summer holiday, Christmas cards and wrapping paper are appearing and we’re planning for 2014…
I couldn’t not write something about that – today my inspiration was indignation
So let’s start with an unseasonal photograph, shall we?
This is a picture my partner took a couple of years ago on a walk nearby. We’ve had such a prolonged summer in the UK this year compared to the last few that snow seems somehow unreal. But we know it’ll return!
But what if it snowed through August in the UK? Or through December in Australia? Or every day for a year in India? How would that affect your characters? Would you, as the writer, treat is as an unnatural event, or a result of global warming, or would it signify that it isn’t our planet, or dimension, or universe?
I’d go down the unnatural event route, with chaos, or disaster, to follow. The snow could be just one of many signs of an apocalypse, for example. There would be fantastical figures and deadly enemies and it would be like a Greek myth come to life. But that’s just me, and my love of mythology! You could do all sorts of different things from science gone wrong to an asteroid hitting the moon at such speed and force it changes the moon’s orbit slightly.
The point is that when you take a normal occurrence and manipulate it in some way, it can give you an entirely new set of ideas to explore.
You can apply this to anything. George Orwell’s book Nineteen Eighty-Four famously opens with the line “It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.” You know it’s not us, not our world – and yet there are so many familiarities you can’t help but feel it’s a realistic portrayal of a possible future.
So think about what doesn’t fit and make it part of a story – soon your characters could be doing anything from fighting evil aliens to surviving a supervolcano eruption – there are no limits to the exercise, except your imagination.
Just try a few ideas out and see where your imagination takes you!