Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Guest post by womagwriter Keith Havers

My guest today is womagwriter and novelist, Keith Havers


Always On The Lookout

I had the pleasure of meeting Patsy a few weeks ago and an off-the-cuff comment by me over the coffee and biscuits is the basis of this post.

I happened to remark that, as an almost full-time writer, I consider myself to be at work during all my waking hours. By that I don't mean that I'm constantly writing or that my mind is consciously working on stories, but I am always on the lookout for ideas and inspiration.

I think this stemmed from a few years ago when I had just begun sending off short stories to competitions and magazines with very little success. My wife and I were walking along the seafront at some English resort and watching the activity on the beach. It was a cold day and there weren't many people about but my wife challenged me to concoct a story based around some of the things going on. I actually managed to come up with two stories, one of which was eventually published.

From then on I was constantly aware that there are story ideas all around and almost anything can be used as a basis for fiction. It has now become second nature for me to latch on to an overheard conversation, an unusual event or a news item on TV and begin to turn things over in my mind.


Since then I have had published stories based on TV shows, family life, national events and many more. Since becoming a writer I've become more observant and a bit of an eavesdropper but it has paid off.

You can find my blog here.

Keith has recently self-published Youthtopia, a children's adventure story aimed at 11 to 13 year olds. It features seven youngsters from diverse backgrounds who have to work together to outwit a criminal mastermind.

A sequel is in process.

Are you like Keith, always on the lookout for story ideas, or do you switch off from your writing when you're away from your desk?

12 comments:

Carolb said...

Good to hear from Keith, and interesting to hear how his womag writing began. :-)

Penny A said...

Interesting post, Keith. Early on, someone once told me that she loved writing simply because it was so life-enhancing - and I think I'd agree with that. There's usually something that catches the attention of the ear, eye... or nose! wherever you are.

Maria said...

Hello Keith, and Patsy,

I think if you make an active decision to turn the creative switch on when you're out and about in your daily life, you'll find the ideas. We all have a built in story generator if we set about turning it on.

Dolores Doolittle said...

Inspirational post and comments, thank you greatly - am rushing out now to let the ideas bombard me!

Dolores Doolittle said...

... in a positive active manner, that is - WAITING for the bombardment has evidently been my problem

Lisa Macgregor said...

Thanks for the post, Keith. This is such good advice and yet for some reason I still don't do it! When I'm out and about I find myself rushing around in a world of my own focussing purely on what I have to do next. But it doesn't have to be like that. I think Maria sums it up well, we just have to remember to turn that creative switch on!

Keith Havers said...

Blame my wife, Carol!

I've become more interested in people and events since I became a writer, Penny.

I've got to the point now, Maria, where I just do it automatically.

Just let the ideas flow, Dolores!

After a while it becomes second nature, Lisa.

Rosemary Gemmell said...

Enjoyed your post, Keith. Yes, it's a very good idea to have the writing antennae switched on at all times!

Keith Havers said...

Thanks, Rosemary. The problem is - I still haven't got into the habit of carrying a notebook with me so I can write things down. That's the next development.

Patsy said...

I sometimes wish I could temporarily turn off my ability to pick up ideas for stories. Having too many shiny new ideas can distract from whatever we're currently working on.

Dolores Doolittle said...

What a wondrous affliction to suffer, Patsy!

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

Very nice post, Keith! I think the ability to tune into one's surroundings is the hallmark of a good writer. Sure, many ideas stem from our unique imaginations, but the world is so rich with possibilities, it would be foolish not to mine them.