Elizabeth: Dreaming of Stories

A few days ago I woke up with a story in my head.  Well, the idea for one at least.

That may not seem like a very surprising thing–especially for a writer–but for me, it felt like a major victory.

As may have been evident from my inability to even generate anything that I’d be willing to post on our Friday Writing Sprints, I have been in a bit of a creativity dead zone.  Well, maybe more of a creativity black-hole or maybe a giant creativity void.  Whatever it was, it seriously impacted my storytelling abilities.

I blame the pandemic.

And work.

But then Sunday morning, somewhere between asleep and awake, the remainder of a dream fluttered around in my head.  I discarded the actual person who had featured in the dream and thought up a new character to fill the role.  Then I thought of a hook that could turn the dream snippet into a real story.

Then I started to think I might really have something. Continue reading

Michaeline: Cosmic Horror and Dread Cthulhu

Polish political poster featuring a Cthulhu in a suit carrying mystical paperwork.

Cthulhu is here. Artists in a lot of different countries have begun to think, “Why choose the Lesser Evil?” (Image via Wikimedia Commons; Wikipedia credits the drawing to Wieksze Zlo, and says it was photographed by Jakub Halun)

Cthulhu is here.

*Warning: here be spoilers. Do yourself a favor and take an hour or two to read the original short story, “Call of Cthulhu”. You may not enjoy it, but at the very least, you’ll be familiar with an important piece of pop currency. NB: I’ve only read the story this week myself, and haven’t read anything in associated universes. So, any opinions I have may be under-funded in the Cthulhu Canonical Knowledge department. Feel free to correct me, argue with me, or spoil me.

Last week, Jennifer Crusie posted a piece about the importance of Cthulhu to her current work-in-progress, and something tapped into my own deep anxiety and sense of cosmic horror.

Cthulhu is here.

Or at least, it’s an active force in popular culture, and it probably always has been. H.P. Lovecraft just identified it and shaped it into a story to wrestle with his own personal problems, and wrote that story in such a way that many people can use the idea to wrestle with their own unreasonable dread.

At the heart of Cthulhu is a conspiracy about something that can’t be Continue reading

Jilly: Bolt from the Blue

Bolt from the BlueHave you ever had something fire your imagination, completely out of the blue?

Yesterday Michaeline was celebrating a good writing week, thanks (maybe) to her psychological priming experiment. My writing could have gone better, but my story week was a revelation. I went for my regular monthly haircut and as my stylist is not only a genius scissorhands but a good, long-standing friend, we always skip the blah-blah about length, layers, etc and dive straight in to the good stuff. It’s invariably interesting, but this week it was story gold.

Continue reading

Jilly: Einstein’s Brain and Other Story Starters

18165523_sWhere do you get your best story ideas? Kat wrote a few days ago about being inspired by Mary Colter, architect and independent woman of the early 20th century. My golden nuggets often come from the news, and maybe it’s the advent of Spring, but I feel as though I’m being bombarded with amazing stuff at the moment. None of it’s romance-related, but I’m not complaining. Anything that keeps the imagination firing must be a good thing, right?

Today I was going to write a useful post about creating a series bible, but then I saw this article on the BBC website and knew I had to share it.

If you don’t have the time or inclination to read the full thing, the short version is Continue reading