Don’t Get it Right, Get it Written! – Be Observant

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Welcome back to, Don’t Get it Right, Get it Written! By Stuart White

Stuart White

Stuart White

 More on Stuart HERE

Stuart continues his tips on how to decide…Where do I get story ideas for my novel?

CONTINUED FROM,GET STORY IDEAS FROM HISTORY

Best-selling author Ken Follett wrote a thriller called The Key to Rebecca, about a WW2 German spy who came into Cairo from the desert on a camel, befriended a belly-dancer who then seduced a British officer on a Nile houseboat to get his secret code-books. The German spy used as his code cipher passages from the Daphne du Maurier book, Rebecca. I read Follett’s book and thought it was brilliant but totally utterly implausible. Spies coming in from the desert? Belly dancers? Nile houseboats and Daphne du Maurier novels? Still, great tale.

 Then I read Bodyguard of Lies and found that the whole thing was true from camels to belly dancers to Rebecca. Truth, again, was stranger than fiction.

DON’T FORGET NEWSPAPERS AS AN INSPIRATION FOR BOOK IDEAS

One day I was reading one of those newspaper columns that are full of esoteric information about obscure subjects. Someone had asked if there’d ever been a black airman in World War One. I’m a bit of a world wars aficionado and my belief was – no there wasn’t. I was wrong. Someone wrote in and said, “Yes, his name was Eugene Jacques Bullard from Georgia and he flew for the French Lafayette Escadrille in World War One. He eventually became a night club owner and millionaire in Paris.”

 Excited – I did research. It was true. So with the encouragement of a Hollywood producer who had already optioned one of my screenplays, I wrote a script called Black Jacques about the man who became the world’s first black fighter pilot, a good twenty-five years before the Tuskegee airmen.

 That script was optioned and at one point I sat down with Richard Attenborough, director of Gandhi, who wanted to direct my script!

One novel, one script; two ideas, just from READING!!!

 SEE WHAT I’M SAYING HERE?

There is an endless, and I mean endless source of story ideas out there. All you have to do is look, listen, read, observe. Carry a small pad with you and write down ideas.

Come back Monday next week and Stuart will continue his series on how to get inspired by history. SIGN UP for the blog newsletter so you don’g miss a single post!

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Scout

I'm a stay-at-home mom writer and blogger. Writing my novel!

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