1. MrsT88
    Offline

    MrsT88 Member

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2013
    Messages:
    41
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Rotherham, England

    Newbie looking for inspiration!

    Discussion in 'Insights & Inspiration' started by MrsT88, Jun 13, 2013.

    Hi all!

    I'm new to this whole thing, I am an amateur writer that has never really written anything before other than essays and assignments but I have an idea, a very basic idea and just looking to see if anyone has any inspiration to help me to develop it.

    I work part time in a local pub and have done for seven years now. It's completely full of characters, all very different/unique and while I'm behind the bar people often say to me "you could write a book about this place." This got me thinking and its been playing on my mind. Yes you probably could write a book about there but how? There's no storyline as such and its hurting my brain trying to progress on the idea. Any inspiration or advice is much appreciated.

    Many thanks,
    Natalie
     
  2. Garball
    Offline

    Garball Sometimes nothing can be a real cool hand. Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2013
    Messages:
    2,846
    Likes Received:
    1,331
    Location:
    S'port, LA
    Don't write your story about the bar. Write about the characters that visit the bar. Is Cheers about the bar or the people? What do those people do in your world outside of the bar?
     
  3. Thomas Kitchen
    Offline

    Thomas Kitchen Proofreader in the Making Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2012
    Messages:
    1,258
    Likes Received:
    422
    Location:
    I'm Welsh - and proud!
    There are a couple of ways you can approach this. One way is to have all these people put into short stories, and then you could collect them all together into one book. Another way is to look at the person behind the bar, as Garball said. Write the book about the characters they meet, then what their life is like once they lock up shop. Is it depressing? Fulfilling?

    Then you could make one character's story more important, say they meet again and this could spark a love story. Or if you're more of a thriller kind of person then you could have someone leave a note on the bar and the barman reads it, beginning his tale into death and corruption. These are not ideas as such, they are simply a way to get you thinking that there is more than one way to tell a story. It doesn't have to be mainly about the bar (although it could be, if written well) but you can use your experience in that situation to pull the reader in and boost the novel's authenticity.

    Welcome to the forums! :)
     
  4. huntsman40
    Offline

    huntsman40 Active Member

    Joined:
    May 29, 2013
    Messages:
    102
    Likes Received:
    4
    Your first question is what are you writing about and in what genre? Will it be factual, or fictional in some respects? People have said you could write a book about the place, but is that the place or the people that come in that just have crazy stories or lives?

    If it is about the people that frequent the pub then I'm guessing your problem is how to connect them into a story. This isn't always completely needed, as there have been books and films that weave in the tales of disparate people living in one place, or that visit one location but don't overlap with each other in anyway, or if they do perhaps they don't notice it at all – even if their actions indirectly affect each other. Of course you can just write separate tales in one book as well that aren’t interwoven.

    In short, I think you need to decide which route you want to go with, and then start making a lot of notes on what tales you want to tell, as a pub can have one heck of a lot of tales to tell and so it’s picking the right ones for the best reasons that fit your idea. Might be somewhat difficult to advise on this if it’s about peoples stories and there are so many you may have to pick from.
     
  5. MrsT88
    Offline

    MrsT88 Member

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2013
    Messages:
    41
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Rotherham, England
    Thanks very much for your advice, its all definitely helping and got me thinking more!

    As you said writing about the peoples lives in the pub could be difficult as I would need to try & connect them which I really have no idea of how too right now, even as separate tales I just don't think there is anything sufficient enough to write about that would keep people interested in the story. From the advice I've been given so far I'm thinking fictional romance/love story based on the bar maid/land-lady in the pub but set the story in the pub and the characters be the actual customers that I have.

    Now there's just the problem of actually writing something that I've never written before! *Scared face*
     
  6. Thomas Kitchen
    Offline

    Thomas Kitchen Proofreader in the Making Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2012
    Messages:
    1,258
    Likes Received:
    422
    Location:
    I'm Welsh - and proud!
    Just make sure to change their features a little, and give them new names. And as for writing something new, just remember that it's a new challenge to overcome - it sounds cheesy, but you'll come out the other end a better writer, whether you manage it or not.

    Go for it, and have fun. :)
     
  7. MrsT88
    Offline

    MrsT88 Member

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2013
    Messages:
    41
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Rotherham, England
    Oh I will do thanks, I don't want it to come back and bite me in the ass!

    I'm going to spend some time taking notes and see what I can come up with then no doubt come back here in a panic!
     
  8. maskedhero
    Offline

    maskedhero Active Member

    Joined:
    May 4, 2013
    Messages:
    365
    Likes Received:
    32
    Location:
    America
    A good way to do it might be like the method that filmmaker used so effectively in Dazed and Confused. Crossing story lines that intersect in the bar. When we go home (or wherever, since you don't have to go home, but can't stay there), we all go to different lives. That's the take I'd go with for this. I'd also change names and personalities a bit, since people might get offended if they don't see themselves as how they end up in your book.
     
  9. MrsT88
    Offline

    MrsT88 Member

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2013
    Messages:
    41
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Rotherham, England
    Sorry can you elaborate on that a little more?
     
  10. maskedhero
    Offline

    maskedhero Active Member

    Joined:
    May 4, 2013
    Messages:
    365
    Likes Received:
    32
    Location:
    America
    Basically each person gets their story told, and then there's a hand off to the next story. So you'd tell one story, then that person would go to the pub, and we'd hop into another character's story. Then, the next time they're at the pub, we'd go to see another person's story...and so on. That way we get a bunch of short stories, they have some intersection, but it reflects, in a big way, how people live. If you have a ton of stories from inside the pub, I'm sure there are stories to be told when they are out of it too. :)
     
  11. MrsT88
    Offline

    MrsT88 Member

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2013
    Messages:
    41
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Rotherham, England
    Ok I get it, thank you! :) It's just that yes there are lots of stories to tell from in there but are they substantial enough for a story as a whole...exciting enough etc. Going to make some notes, based on them all but expand on them and just see what starts to come of it. All of your advice and ideas are very gratefully received and appreciated.
     
  12. Justin Rocket 2
    Offline

    Justin Rocket 2 Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2013
    Messages:
    1,034
    Likes Received:
    194
    Is there a unifying theme in the character stories (for example, how does money/jealousy/etc. change people?)
     
  13. MrsT88
    Offline

    MrsT88 Member

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2013
    Messages:
    41
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Rotherham, England
    Hadn't thought of it like this, maybe once I start brainstorming with pen to paper then there will be a unifying theme that I can expand on.
     
  14. Rimuel
    Offline

    Rimuel Member

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2009
    Messages:
    83
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    I wonder....perhaps in the azure blue sky.
    It's called a slice of life story. You basically detail the daily encounters you have with the people who visit the bar. Talk a little about their daily lives, then move on the the next day, and talk about other characters. Add some comedy into it and you're set!

    If you want to make it a more serious story you can always add some mystery elements into it, and create something fictional that doesn't occur in your bar in real life.
     
  15. MrsT88
    Offline

    MrsT88 Member

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2013
    Messages:
    41
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Rotherham, England
    I've never seen or read any literature like it before, is there any that you could recommend that I could take a little read of just to get an idea of how they put it together and get it to work?
     
  16. Rimuel
    Offline

    Rimuel Member

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2009
    Messages:
    83
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    I wonder....perhaps in the azure blue sky.
    There's a lot of anime, manga and light novels in the slice of life genre. Most of them come with comedy and romance. It's japanese material though, so you may not be accustomed to their culture. :)
     
  17. Mckk
    Online

    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2010
    Messages:
    4,749
    Likes Received:
    2,534
    Think of how their lives connect, and think of what about each individual's story interests you and why. Change little details - is one of your customers a single dad? That's interesting. But he's otherwise a regular guy with good kids? Well, change it up and pretend he still has a good relationship with the ex. Is one of the guys a war veteran, and otherwise leads a normal life? Well, maybe the veteran meets a fellow soldier's young son at the bar, and the veteran witnessed the young lad's father die in battle.

    You get the idea - pick out the interesting part, and then weave something else around it ;)

    Don't worry about writing - I started writing when I was 9. Do you think I started off as a good writer? Do you think I started off even knowing what I was doing? Everyone starts somewhere. Go for it, and have fun.
     
  18. MrsT88
    Offline

    MrsT88 Member

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2013
    Messages:
    41
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Rotherham, England
    Thanks you're all giving me so many ideas and inspiration! I've made a start, just going to go with the flow and see what happens, just let it evolve by itself with what's in my head and your ideas entwined :)
     
  19. mammamaia
    Offline

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Messages:
    19,316
    Likes Received:
    1,014
    Location:
    Coquille, Oregon
    how much do you read?... do you read the works of the best writers? [not the most popular, many of whom are bad writers]

    reading good, well-written stories/novels is the best way to learn how to write them... if you have the material [bar stories], study how the best writers deal with such 'grist' for their mills...

    do you want to write short stories, or a novel?...
     
  20. MrsT88
    Offline

    MrsT88 Member

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2013
    Messages:
    41
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Rotherham, England
    I read quite a lot, my favourite author at the minute being Sophie Kinsella, I like the easy to read and get into, happy ending kind of story. I haven't read any stories based in bars that would definitely be a bit of help. I'm not sure about whether it will be a short story or a novel at the minute, just plan on writing and see what comes of it.
     
  21. Silenceur
    Offline

    Silenceur New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2013
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    this. if you don't know what goes on in their personal lives, then it's up to you to fill in the blanks, and this is where it starts to get good. now their lives outside of the bar are your creation, they're your fantasy. maybe Joe A. is a volunteer firefighter, but never brings it up because of how modest he is. maybe Joe B.'s wife is in a coma, and he comes to this bar to make everything seem OK again.
     
  22. MrsT88
    Offline

    MrsT88 Member

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2013
    Messages:
    41
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Rotherham, England
    Great thanks for the idea's I will definitely use these in the story :)
     

Share This Page