Wednesday 10 November 2010

Exercise: What inspires you? . . .

What inspires you? What gets your creative juices flowing? What spurs you into writing that best selling novel?

Everything and nothing.

It's a constantly asked question, `what inspires you?`, and most of the time it's answered by a shrug. It's something that can't be answered easily. It differs from person to person, and what someone may think is an inspirational moment may not be for another. This is just how the mind works.

Trucking around Scotland a few weeks back, I thought of a great little exercise, and made a little list of things I saw along the way - be it something on the horizon or something along the side of the road. They were mundane, everyday things, but managed to bring a little inspiration to the writers' group.

Exercise: An emergency phone on the side of the motorway hanging off the hook . . .

He pulled up on the hard shoulder of the motorway, bringing his car to a skidding halt. He was certain he would have caught him this time. He had been alerted of the call only a few minutes before.

A few minutes!

How could he not be here now? How could he have left already?

Opening his car door, he stepped out, conscious of the speeding traffic going by beside him. A mixture of emotions boiled inside. Most of all it was anger; anger at having missed his assailant yet again.

This was no mindless criminal he was chasing, and he only had a limited amount of time left to make the catch.

One sign that his assailant had been here was the phone that he approached. The receiver hung on its cable, swaying to and fro from the orange SOS box. A hunger lurched in him. He had been close to catching the man! He had been here, making the call that warned of the girl's death.

The man they knew as ` the GraveDigger` had no doubt given clues to his victims whereabouts, toying with the CID and enjoying their desperate anguish while the girl struggled to cling on to her life deep in an unmarked grave. She was the sixth on the GraveDigger's list of victims, and no matter how hard the CID worked, no matter how close they got to him, they had never caught him.

Today, however, they had been close. He was so close he imagined he could still smell the aromour of his assailants cheap, sour soap. He could feel the GraveDigger's fear of nearly being captured, never imagining the CID getting this close. It had thrown the assailant, had stirred things inside, and as the receiver was replaced on the hook, it still felt warm from where it had sat in the hand.

He looked around. The gravedigger was on foot, that much he knew, and there was only one way he could have gone without being seen. Up the bank.

Eager to catch his prey, he climbed up the bank with large strides. He had no idea what he was going to find at the top, was certain he wouldn't see his assailant running across the field - even though he hoped he would.

What he didn't expect once he reached the top was the sight of the slightly hunched man with the rifle in his hand. He didn't have time to dart out of the way, didn't even have time to scream in alarm before the deafening boom of the weapon blocked his ears - and he didn't even have time to feel the pain as he drew in his last, final breath.

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