Tag Archives: inspiration for my novel

Light Bulb Moment of inspiration ~ Just a Sentence ~ then a Story Plan

HAVE A NOTEBOOK AT ALL TIMES

Do you have a notebook, or a plethora of notebooks to hand when inspiration for writing strikes?

Sound advice!

All it took was just a sentence popping unbidden into my mind:

‘While picking blackberries in the hedgerows one day, I found a dice.’

CHOOSE AN UNUSUAL PROTAGONIST

I had already decided to write about a homeless person but wanted to choose an unlikely character, This one sentence was the perfect lead to my protagonist, Dot. Picking blackberries is second nature to her and thus she would be a ‘jam making women’s institute sort of lady’, the sort who you might pass unnoticed in the street. If a lady like that who hadn’t done anyone any harm, well almost, became homeless, straightaway I felt that the reader would feel empathy towards Dot when her husband went missing.

BACK STORY

Then I began to think of her back story. Holding the dice which I had found one day it struck me to be a fantastic tool for Dot’s memories while she was trying to recover from the breakdown of all she had known. (Her memories were not personal ones to me by the way, except maybe one, but I’m not going to admit which one.)

 

 

SUBTITLE

No one deserves to have their life destroyed, but what sums up the overriding question in Dot’s mind as she tries to make sense of it all.  Life is never fair but

Is Life Just a Roll of a Dice?’

My subtitle came to life.

MISSING Past and Present on Amazon

SETTING

The scene of picking blackberries could be an idyllic one, but in Dot’s case it was a means for survival, to glean from the countryside. What was it like to survive when homeless.

MAIN THEMES

This led to the main themes in my novel, as explored in previous blogs, leading to further tension and miscommunication.

Homelessness, soup kitchens and food banks

Mixed race relationships

Multi faith marriage

Gender inequality

Prejudice, racism and acceptance

SUMMING UP

Thus, finding a dice in the hedgerows gave me a sentence.

Out of the sentence came the protagonist, back story and major setting.

This allowed me to develop my plan, including themes pertinent to my story.

What originally inspired you to write your latest novel?

If you would like to be a guest writer on this blog why don’t you take the Dice Challenge and get in touch with me diana@dianamaryjackson.co.uk

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Filed under MISSING Past and Present, Mystery inspired by history series, Planning a novel, Writing, Writing a novel

Noah Enterprise Luton, Bedfordshire ~ Such Great Need and an Inspiration for my novel

NOAH ONE SHOULD BE LEFT OUT IN THE COLD

The wonderful slogan of Noah Enterprise Soup Kitchen in Luton, Bedfordshire.

Many years ago when I was going through a breakdown of my marriage I began to volunteer at Noah Enterprise Soup Kitchen in Luton. What impressed me most about this welfare centre was that it was so much more than a soup kitchen. At the time, back in 2003, the kitchen was run like clockwork by two Irish sisters. They were wonderfully understanding that I was quite fragile and so at first I only washed up in the background. Then, as my confidence grew, I began to serve at the hatch, enjoying the banter with the clients, and finally I was trusted to go and clear the tables alongside and intermingling with everyone.

The sisters were probably in their late fifties at the time but their sense of humour and their efficiency running the kitchen lived with me over the years and in MISSING Past and Present, the two Irish sisters who ran The Ark, a centre in an imaginary town of Drumford had similarities to my memories, only Orla and Laura had just left college. It was Dorothy, my protagonist, who was homeless, but she still had her pride as this extract shows:

Her sister’s name was Orla. It was easy to tell the difference because, although both had gingery blonde hair, Laura’s was cropped short around her oval face whereas Orla’s locks were long and plaited. The overall effect was similar with their delicately freckled features shining through.

‘What would you like today?’ winked Laura. How about this sexy black number?’ she asked as she held a sturdy black sweatshirt towards me. ‘There’s even some glamorous troos to match.’ The twinkle in her eyes rested on the leggings in her other hand.

I smiled, my eyes drifting to the floor. It was touching the way they were both sensitive to my shyness. Given an hour or so I would open up a little, but I found company a trifle hard to handle these days, after my imposed solitude.”

As at Noah, my fictional welfare centre provides far more than hot food; there’s a place of shelter to stay too. It is a place for the lost and vulnerable; for the homeless to take refuge, even if for a short period of time.

If you’d like to donate or volunteer at Noah in Luton, and I can assure you that the organisation and the place, not to mention the need are real, and not figments of my imagination, then please click on this link.

As the website says, you can donate more than just money ~ food, furniture and clothes are also vital for their work.

You could always volunteer at a place near you if you are able to, even during the pandemic. I know that in my short experience of a couple of years I gained far more than I gave. It was a pleasure!

 

 

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Filed under Bedfordshire, Events, MISSING Past and Present, Planning a novel