Author Rachel Brimble returns and shares with you how to find inspiration for your stories.
The single most common questions author get asked by readers and interviewers is where we get our inspiration. This is such a difficult question to answer without leaving the person asking the question no more informed than they were before speaking with you!
Inspiration is everywhere…snippets of conversation, news articles, TV programs and movies, your experiences/others experiences, places, history. I could go on and on.
Let’s start with one aspect at a time…
This is where the majority of my stories begin taking shape in my imagination. I love visiting new and old places, looking for that new story idea. I’m lucky enough to live in one of the most beautiful parts of the UK. Wiltshire is rich with history, phenomenal countryside and beautiful villages. On top of that, I am just thirty minutes drive from the famous Georgian City of Bath.
There are so many places to inspire me from the churches and cathedrals, to the tiny hamlets hidden away which are bound to hold secrets. I love wandering around Bath and thinking of the many, many generations of people who have lived in this wonderful city and the struggles they faced and conquered. Look around you and ask yourself, “Who lived here?” “Who fought here?” “Who fell in love here?” “Who lost a loved one here?” And then ask yourself, “Why?” “Who?” “How?”
Templeton Cove came alive in my mind by reminiscing about my childhood holidays – the beaches, piers, oceans and shops all mixed and merged until I had created my own fictional town. Eight books later and I still love Templeton more than any place I’ve created.
This is a difficult one for me – many writers start their stories with the character, especially in romance. This rarely happens for me. Occasionally, I hear a voice or a line of dialogue and have to find out who said that and why. It usually turns out to be the hero or heroine––although, other times it has been a secondary character shouting to be heard.
I start finding my characters by trawling the Internet for pictures of famous actors or models. Usually one of the faces catches my eye and ‘speaks’ to me. I’ve found my character. After that, I complete a full character sketch looking for their story. The sketches usually produce the characters’ Goal, Motivation and Conflict. After that, I have to start plotting…
Once an author has the hero and heroine’s (also villain’s if you have one) goal, motivation and conflict, the plotting begins to formulate. I try to make the hero and heroine’s goals conflict to provide solid obstacles for them to overcome during their journey and romance.
The most important element of any storytelling, and the thing that must run throughout the book, is the characters’ internal conflict/their biggest fear or point of pain. Once you’ve established this and know it will be difficult for the characters to get past whatever it is inside them that’s holding them back, you have your plot. Everything revolves around finding a way for these characters to grow and change. That is your plot. Everything else is used to colour your story.
What do you think? Do you agree? Disagree? I’d love to chat!
About the Book
If I Want You by Rachel Brimble
Genre: Romantic Suspense
When local journalist, Tori Peterson, fails to prevent a child abduction outside her niece’s school, her horror and guilt sparks a vow to do whatever it takes to get little Abby Brady home to her parents.
While Tori battles the vile memories of her own kidnapping as a child, she accepts the help of widowed father, Mark Bolton. As he and Tori join forces with the local police, their attraction and intimacy grows…along with their fears for Abby.
Links are uncovered between Abby’s disappearance and Tori’s kidnapping, and Tori is forced to accept the monster who held her captive is back. But this time, Tori is all grown up, and there is no way she will let him hurt another little girl.
Add to your Goodreads shelf.
About Rachel Brimble
Rachel lives with her husband and two young daughters in a small town near Bath in the UK. Here first novel was published in 2007. Since then, she’s had several books published with small presses and since 2012 has written mainstream romance and romantic suspense for Harlequin Superromance (Templeton Cove Stories) and Victorian romance for eKensington/Lyrical Press.
Agent represented in the US, Rachel is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association and Romance Writers of America, When she isn’t writing, you’ll find Rachel with her head in a book or walking the beautiful English countryside with her family. Her dream place to live is Bourton-on-the-Water in South West England. And in the evening? Well, a well-deserved glass of wine is never, ever refused…