Thursday, 29 December 2011

Inspirational World by Lynne Garner

I'm often asked if I have problems coming up with ideas for stories. My standard reply is no, I find inspiration everywhere. Anything and everything can spark an idea. Here are just a few examples of ideas that have become stories:

My first traditionally published picture book A Book For Bramble was inspired by the work I do with a hedgehog rescue centre, Herts Hogline. One winter whilst checking on a hedgehog that was hibernating I began to wonder what they dream about. I jotted down a story about the dreams Bramble might have. Six re-drafts later my story became a small mouse missing his hibernating hedgehog friend.


One of my first picture book apps and eBooks came from watching my dog (Tasha) share her home with a friend's dog, Mac. Although I'd taken away bones and toys to avoid fights, they still found things to share. From my observations I jotted down a story, that after several re-drafts became the story of Captain and Nugget.



My first young readers novel (availbale as an eBook), Maras and the Fairy Rings came from my love of the natural world. Each autumn I gain pleasure from seeing the fairy rings (a form of fungus) 'flower' on our local fields. Wondering why they are called fairy rings I did a little research. From this emerged a modern fairy story featuring my main character Maras Mius (the name comes from the genus name for this type of fungus, Marasmius).


At the moment I'm editing a young readers novel, which includes photography and time travel. I have another story sketched out that involves ASBO kids, animal rescue and memories of an old man. I also have an idea for a story about ghost dog and a boy, (the result of a throw away comment at a concert) and a story of a swallow, which came from watching Autumn Watch (a programme on the BBC).
So my problem is not having the idea but the time to write the stories these ideas generate!

Discover my books, eBooks and apps on:

6 comments:

  1. Thanks for your post, Lynne! It has inspired me to keep a proper notebook of thoughts and ideas in 2012, instead of rushing on and ignoring them! Good resolution, I think. Moira Butterfield

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  2. Great first blog, Lynne! Yes, ideas are all around us - we just need to be receptive to them. When I'm working with children I always tell them that they're closer to inspiration than adults because all that STUFF - relationships, bank managers, mortgages, jobs etc. haven't got in the way yet. As children's writers we need to clear all that stuff from our heads and be open to inspiration, open to imagination.

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  3. Hurrah! The first blog of the Picture Book Den. Hope your rescue hedgehogs inspire future books, Lynne. Personally, I keep notebooks of ideas, although it's tricky knowing when an idea is 'big enough' for a picture book. It can be weird flicking through my idea notebooks because sometimes I don't remember the idea I've written down (so it's a good thing I did write it down!).

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  4. Lovely start to Picturebookden, Lynne.
    Ideas are such elusive things. I have various notebooks where I jot down ideas, but I just love notebooks so they sometimes get lost because I don't know which notebook I wrote it in.
    I have now started a 'box of ideas' where I toss scraps of paper, scribbled-on napkins and odds and ends where I have written ideas.

    BUT one problem about leaving just a note, a sentence or a scrap of an idea is that although it seemed so brilliant when I wrote it down sometimes the hand of time blurs that memory and all I have is a few words that mean very little on their own and raise not even a spark of excitement about the idea.
    So my resolution is not to toss in just a note but at least a few lines of the idea around it!

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  5. Of course the other side of this is the irritating people who offer you an idea to write into a story, hoping you'll do the work and share the money with them. As if you needed ideas! We all need time and stamina - ideas are two-a-penny!

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  6. I love the thought of all the 'boxes of ideas' out there in the big wide yonder. Great post x

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