Monday, 5 September 2016

Holidays as Inspiration for Your Stories


This has been a good week for magazine stories. I have two in The People's Friend Weekly (very unusual as they don't often feature a writer more than once unless it's in the Special) and one in Take a Break Fiction Feast.

It was as I was reading them again that it occurred to me that all three had been written following a holiday. Two from this year and one a while ago.

My first story in The Friend is called 'Welcome to Paradise' and I'll tell you a little about how this one came about. In May this year, my husband and I went on a fantastic holiday to Sorrento and the Amalfi Coast. For the second part of the holiday, we stayed in the beautiful village of Positano.



When we arrived at the beach around the headland, we were greeted by a young man from the local bar. 'Welcome to Paradise!' he said. We thought that was rather lovely and it amused us when we heard him say the same thing to everyone. If a group of pretty girls came down to the beach, he was extra attentive. I just knew I had to write a story about him as soon as I got back. I sent the story along with the photo above to my editor who bought it. This is the lovely illustration that they put with it - rather arty don't you think!


My second story in The People's Friend is called 'A Walk on the Fells'. The original title was The Coffin Stone which was much more interesting I think - maybe they didn't like the word 'coffin'. I wrote it after I came back form The Lake District in April. It is absolutely one of my favourite places in England to holiday and I have written (and have had published) a story every time I've come home from a visit. This is my fourth Lake District story for The Friend and I've had one published in Fiction Feast too.

Fiction editor, Shirley Blair, asked if I would tell the readers the inspiration behind my story and here it is. Have any of you ever walked the 'coffin route?'

My final story this week is called 'Don't Rock the Boat' - originally titled, 'Bridge Over Troubled Water' (never be precious about your titles). It was one of my first stories and was written after my first canal boat holiday in 2012. It didn't sell then so I put it away in a drawer, revamped it and resent it four years later. I've had three more canal boat holidays since then.




I'm off to the Greek island of Ithaka soon... I feel another Greek story coming on!




20 comments:

  1. I'm always interested in your "story behind the story" blogs, Wendy. As writers we are lucky to find ideas wherever we go and whatever we become involved in and your holidays have certainly provided you with plenty of material. I loved the detail about the young man who gave everyone the same greeting. Also, if ever you get stuck with your writing, you'll know what to do - head off to the Lake District!

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    1. I don't need a writing excuse to go there, Susanna!

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  2. Love reading the inspiration behind your stories, Wendy. But frankly you don't need any more excuses to go on holiday ... where are you off to this week? (Tee hee)

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    1. Oh, believe me,Tracy, I have plenty more excuses up my sleeve :)

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  3. Thanks for sharing I truly enjoyed the read

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  4. I think holidays are so inspiring because we allow ourselves to switch off normal life. It's as though we free up some space on our mental hard drive.

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    1. Yes - by giving ourselves permission not to write, we become more observant I think.

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  5. Lovely that you find so much inspiration whilst relaxing, Wendy. Mind you, as they say, a writer is never truly on holiday! Enjoy the Greek islands.

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  6. I love to use holidays as inspiration for my writing, a good excuse to go on holiday ;-), and a way to pretend that I'm on holiday when I get back.

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    1. Yes, you're right, Anita. It does prolong it :)

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  7. Fascinating and inspiring, Wendy! I keep meaning to use some more of my holiday venues for novellas.

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    1. I think you definitely should, Rosemary :)

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  8. It's nice that PF have printed your inspiration in the magazine. I thought at one time they used to ask authors for a pen-name if they had two stories in the same mag.

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    1. They did, Keith. Not any more it seems - which I'm pleased about.

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  9. What lovely holidays, Wendy. I think the change of pace and scenery, the altered rhythm of the day, provide such a fantastic source of inspiration. Have a wonderful time in Greece too. xxx

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  10. If you're gaining that much inspiration from your holiday's Wendy, maybe the Tax man will consider offsetting the cost (ha ha!). Love to hear the inspiration behind your stories. Haven't had a holiday since February so looking forward to November when we go the Canaries and hoping I will find some inspiration there.

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    1. I'll see what the tax man has to say about it :)

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