Wednesday, 2 September 2015

AMA Answers Part Two; Debra She Who Seeks

Hello and welcome to a special Wednesday post, brought about by the positive response to my AMA. Today I'll be answering questions posed by Debra, She Who Seeks.

1. How do you come up with the plot ideas for your stories and novels? The creative process fascinates me. Do you feel the ideas come from within you or from outside you? Do you think you have a Muse?

That's quite a loaded question but there wasn't much of a way to split it up. So I've left it as is. The ideas I get for my stories tend to be random flashes of brilliance. I'll just get an idea and then jot it down or repeat it in my head like a mantra so it gets stuck there and I can work on it later. That's as far as the initial idea itself goes anyway. Sometimes I'll be struck by the want to do a particular story, and things will just go off in my head. That's what happened when I decided I wanted to write Caspian. I wanted to write a novel about pirates, so I got some ideas and clobbered something together in my head. The story fills itself out over time as I get good ideas and disregard other ideas.

I've actually done foreshadowing without thinking about it. My head just seems to work on levels without me realising. I went into a story without a full plan. When I got to a certain part I realised it coincided perfectly with something I had written before and I could make the two events related.

The ideas tend to be a mix of the inside and the outside. I think every writer draws on outside sources. You can't do that too much though or it becomes dangerous. Look at how many stories there are where kids are thrown on an island in the middle of nowhere and have to fight for survival. A lot of my ideas also come from within though and I add my own flair to what I write to make it more unique; more me. 

As far as a Muse goes...I don't know if I do have one to be honest. I certainly muse a lot but when it comes to things or people that inspire me I can't say there is one. I have people I feel have to work and strive my hardest for but I wouldn't say they are a muse. I had a muse for one story I wrote, but just the one.

2. And, on a completely different note, what would you do if you won the Lottery?
I'm very boring. I've done the math and I know how much it would take for me to live comfortably for the rest of my life. If I won the lottery I would put a lot of it in a savings account, keep some in my current account, and split the rest between my family and charitable causes. I would not become one of those people who goes insane with wealth, spends it all in a matter of months, and is back to destitution quicker than the Flash after flashing someone. 


  1. Thanks for your great answers, Mark! The reason the creative writing process fascinates me is because I don't have the spark / urge / compulsion / whatever, to write fiction. Stories, plots and characters never ever occur to me and so I wonder what it's like for people whose minds do work that way.

    P.S. And I hope you do win the lottery one day, you sensible young man.

  2. Wonderful question and answer. Your creative ideas sourcing is like my art ideas. I don't think I would waste my lottery winnings either. My 20 year old son said just last night he would help others less fortunate.


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