24 September 2017

Writing Fiction: Seeing Ideas

So this person comes up and says, I have an idea for you which will make a wonderful book...

I doubt it. Or maybe it could, but not via my hand. Why? Because I haven’t seen it. 

I don’t mean as in photographically seen. I mean in the sense of the imaginary lines that join the dots of stars in the sky to create named constellations: Cassiopeia, Pegasus, Andromeda, Ursa Major.

The lines don’t exist; the stars aren’t close together, they just look that way from where we’re standing. That’s if you’re standing with me in the northern hemisphere. And some fella who may have been Greek, or an Arab, or... decided to see them that way, and everyone after him shrugged and went along with his vision. Call him a fiction writer, then. Of sorts.

So what’s this got to do with an image of a British parish church? I was in Louth a couple of days ago visiting friends and we explored Saint James’ Church with the help of a volunteer. Not only is it a bit grand for a parish church, it is has the tallest steeple of any parish church  in the country.


It also has this – one of two remaining medieval wooden angels which stood high in the roof and now adorn a wall in an old chantry chapel once funded by one of the town’s medieval guilds.

                                                       It also has this blue plaque.


Do you see the lines?

If you do, great. But I bet they aren’t the same lines I see.

Food for thought. In fact there's enough meals for a starry night of what-ifs for a writer of fiction.

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