A couple of months ago I finished the latest draft of the novel I’ve been writing for a few years. It’s currently with various trusted people for editing/feedback, but it being done for a while has given me some freedom to try writing something new! And this is how I’ve been doing it…
I made these story stones when in Inverness a couple of years ago on holiday and have been itching to use them ever since. The idea of them is to prompt ideas and provide some sort of boundaries to create something in; as a complete blank space is difficult to start from.
The way I do it is to decide what I’m looking for; i.e. a main character, or a setting, or what happens, or the thing that stands against them, and pick two or three stones to tell me what they’re like. I deliberately haven’t assigned hugely restrictive meanings to the pictures and can interpret them differently each time (I like to think of it like how Lyra reads the alethiometer in Pullman’s His Dark Materials) if I want to. The above is the layout for the first story stones story I’ve written.
I’m currently on number two – I’m trying to be experimental and to try different styles for each story. And I’m writing by hand, which is a new experience too. On the second story I’m feeling a bit bored and stuck, but think I’ll stick it out. I’ll be putting them out on my writing page soon too!
Do you have any similar ways of finding inspiration? I also think these will be great for telling kids stories some time soon!