The Eureka Moment

Is it possible to say exactly where your ideas come from and what inspires you to put pen to paper. It is a question that people seem compelled to put now that they know that I have written a novel. I find it hard to answer, to even know exactly what they want me to say.

It may be that it is a long time since I first started to write Shattered Reflections. It was on the back of finishing my MPhil which was on masculinity and violence in Contemporary Fiction and I have no doubt that my reading for that – American Psycho, Frisk, Resentment, Exquisite Corpse, Maribou Stork Nightmares, for example – inspired the themes. But I am not sure that this is what they mean when they ask the question. They seem to want an eureka moment. An incident maybe, a person or a story on the news that sent me running to my laptop. But I am so far removed from the origins of that book now that any such moment is lost in the mists of time.

I am mostly inspired by what annoys me. Which to be honest is quite a lot. This is why I am toying with the idea of Science fiction for my next work. Although I feel more comfortable with the term speculative fiction. Mostly because what I write is unlikely to be very sciency but also because I like what is suggested by the word specualtive – speculate, if you will, on what would happen if… For this I do have an Eureka moment although I am not sure yet where it is going to take me.

I was in the supermarket. (And it goes without saying that this is a task that I hate.) When I got home, I wrote a paragraph about the horror of it, the lighting, the expressions of desperation on the faces of my fellow shoppers. I was a little hungover which made everything seem to be going slower than it actually was. It was a depressing Sunday morning moment.

I’m not sure where this will go yet. I have to think of the characters, the story, really before I can go any further. A lot of planning and reading will need to be done. Still it is the first step on the road to something new. It is exciting, the new ideas flying around like startled butterflies. A new reading list is needed and I’m looking forward to re-visiting old favourites such as Brave New World, as well as discovering a whole new world of science fiction.

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