Thursday, 24 April 2014

Inspiration Behind the Story - Worth Waiting For


Another in my series of Inspiration behind the story. This time I am going to tell you how the idea for my story 'Worth Waiting For' in this week's Woman's Weekly, came about.

I was sitting in my doctors surgery waiting for a doctor whose name I couldn't remember. I was just hoping that when the time came, they'd call my name loud enough to drag my attention from the magazine I was reading (don't you just love reading things you'd never normally buy).

As I waited, a succession of doctors came out and called names and as they did, it made me think about how things had changed at the surgery since I moved to the town in 1987. For many years, I had one doctor: I knew him and he knew me. He saw me through my two pregnancies and other general ailments and I trusted him implicitly. When he retired, it was a very sad day (not for him, I'm sure!).

Now the system has changed. Nobody has a doctor - or rather you get to choose who you would like to see. The only problem is, if you want a specific doctor, chances are you will need to make an appointment a week or so in advance (not much good when you're ill and need to see someone that day). I actually saw five different doctors while they tried to sort out my high blood pressure over the course of a few weeks. I had to tell the same thing to each one and lovely though they all were, I never felt I knew any of them.

This led me to think how hard it must be for the older patient who needs the reassurance of a familiar face and with this in mind, my main character, Mrs Parsons, was born. The other character, Izzy Maynard, was based on a young woman who was struggling to get her double buggy through the surgery door.

So you see, inspiration is everywhere. Look out for it next time you are out somewhere.

Also, you might like to look out for my story, 'Too Good to Last', which is in this month's People's Friend Fiction Special.


37 comments:

  1. Oh I remember my doctor when I was a child, Wendy. (Too many years ago to think about - gulp!) He was called Dr Willcox and he was just wonderful. He made you feel better as soon as you saw him.

    Now inspiration - it seems to pass me by. Some people seem to be able to walk down a street and come back with five different ideas for a story. What a gift!! Thank you for this post though - as you say inspiration IS everywhere and I guess you just have to train the brain to look for it xx

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    1. Sometimes I'll go for ages with none, Sue, and then three separate things might happen in one day and I'm grabbing for my phone (where I write my ideas).

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  2. I rarely know what sparked off a story idea. One minute I'm weeding the garden or washing my hair and the next I'm imagining a situation which might make a story.

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    1. I read that as washing the garden and weeding my hair, Patsy - now that would make a good story!

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  3. It is sad that things have changed so much. But one change I do like is the practice nurse being able to see you for some things. I'm like Patsy - most of the time I couldn't say where the ideas come from! x

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    1. I'm a creature of habit, Teresa - I like to see the same face more than once.

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  4. Love hearing where you get the inspiration from, Wendy. I live in a village so we only have a couple of doctors at the surgery but I remember having one dedicated doctor when younger and all through pregnancy. Would never have thought of writing a story around it!

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    1. A surgery of only two doctors sounds wonderful to me, Rosemary.

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  5. Like Rosemary, I like reading about what has inspired your stories, Wendy. I'm a great believer in people watching so as you say inspiration is all around us. :-)

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    1. Thanks, Jan and yes, it's surprising where it can come from.

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  6. Thanks for sharing Wendy. I like to think of doctors as in those sixties television programmes, when they call out if you have a cold, with the little black bag....

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    1. Oh yes, Susan and the stethoscope around their neck!

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  7. Good stuff, Wendy. The last time I was waiting for my car to be serviced, I jotted down some notes about the other person in the waiting area and one of the salesmen. One day I shall weave them into a story.

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  8. Congratulations on the two stories, Wendy. They both sound very good. I just happened into your blog by following someone else's, and I'm glad I did. I'm now your newest follower.
    Deb@ http://debioneille.blogspot.com

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    1. That's great, Debi - a warm welcome to my blog.

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  9. I love hearing the inspiration behind the stories, Wendy. Health centres are great places to people watch. I'm a volunteer driver and spend time waiting in surgery carparks too - and you'd be surprised what story ideas and characters you can pick up there!

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  10. We're fortunate in having our own doctor in a good practice. But often have to wait a while to see him (except in an emergency,when they always make room).

    Well done on those stories!

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    1. You are lucky, Frances and thank you.

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  11. I'm amazed that your doctors come out into the waiting room to call for their patients!! (but I suppose it gives them a bit of exercise and a change of scene. It must be like being in a cell, stuck in a consulting room all day!). Where I used to live, the doctors just called you in via an intercom thing in the waiting room. I was always terrified of walking into the wrong room and being faced with..erugh! Well, embarrassing bodies of some kind! Thanks for the insight into the story! Very interesting, as always!

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    1. 'Call you via an intercom thing' - how modern, Helen.

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  12. Hi Wendy, thanks for this post. It's really interesting to learn where other writers get their ideas. The good thing about waiting around at the doctors (probably the only good thing) is that you can people watch and let your mind wander... and in your case it led to your story. Fab!

    I enjoyed reading Too Good To Last - I also have a story in the current edition of The People's Friend Special (called Moving On). The idea for this one came about as a result of a dog walk, an odd looking door and asking my favourite idea-generating question - why? You can read more about how the story came about on my blog at http://bit.ly/1kcDEFd.

    Looking forward to your next post!

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    1. I shall look forward to reading about your own story, Jane.

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  13. Hi Wendy, thanks for this post. It's interesting to read how other writers come up with story ideas. The good thing about waiting around at the doctor's surgery(probably the only good thing!) is that it gives you chance to people watch and let your mind wander.. and in your case come up with a story idea. Fab!

    I also enjoyed reading Too Good To Last. I also have a story in the current edition of The People's Friend Special (called Moving On). The idea for that story came from a dog walk, an odd looking door, and asking my favourite idea-generating question - why? You can read more about how the idea for this story came about on my blog here http://bit.ly/1kcDEFd.

    Thanks again. I look forward to reading your next post.

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    1. Sorry for the duplicate message, Wendy. My PC threw me out the first time, so I didn't think it had been sent. Had to rewrite it. Duh! I can't delete the duplicate, but I'm sure you can.

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  14. Hi Wendy

    Lovely to read about what has inspired your stories. I love waiting rooms for the opportunity to read the mags, but I always get called when I'm half way through reading something interesting. Its true what you say about inspiration being everywhere. I currently get the park and ride into town for work and its amazing the characters you meet on the bus.

    Linda

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    1. I always get called in during the best part of the mag too, Linda.

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  15. Congratulations on your story successes and thank you for sharing your inspiration with us too.

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    1. Thank you for your king comments, Maria.

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  16. Well done on more successes Wendy, I love reading about the inspiration behind your stories, it's sometimes very odd where it comes from isn't it?! :)

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  17. Wendy, I bought WW today and I've just read your story 'Worth Waiting For' - I loved it! And I didn't see that 'surprise' coming at all! Well done, you.

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    1. That's lovely of you to say, Helen. Thank you.

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  18. Wendy, I read the beginning of this in your photo and really wanted to read the rest. I looked tonight but I think the new mag is in the shops now.... have I missed it?! :(

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  19. Interesting read. And like the way the flow went. Yes now a days we have "specialist" doctors who will only look at that part of the body. (as if they have not learned anatomy on the whole)
    Now looking forward to read more about Mrs Parsons.
    Following you. (I mean on the blog)

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