As a writer, I need inspiration and I find water is one of the most inspiring elements. Whether it is looking out over the Bristol Channel at the end of a long sunny day, or watching the restless sea beating on the Devon coast, I just can't get enough of the view. It sets the creative juices flowing.
Writers need contrast in their books, so I need inspiration for the reflective scenes as much as for the exciting ones, and water provides that. Perhaps it is because we live on an island, we are never very far from water and for someone who writes about Georgian England, water is important.
|HMS Trincomalee, Hartlepool|
Along with coal, it powered the industrial revolution, and provided trade routes around the coast or via the rivers and canals for centuries before the roads and railways took over.
Recently I have been travelling around Scotland, where they have, er, an abundance of water. It's everywhere, in the rivers and lochs and around the coast with its thousands of islands. (there is also plenty in the sky, too, but luckily not when we were there!) There was the excited anticipation of setting out on a ferry to the remote island of Jura,
and the sheer pleasure of sitting in the sun, watching the seals sunning themselves in the bay at Port Charlotte, on Islay.
You might think this would only provide inspiration for seafaring adventures, but not in my case. Although I do have some books set beside the sea, and even on it, many of my books are set in Regency London, or in an English country house, but travelling around and looking at waterfalls and wonderful views over vast expanses of water seems to free the mind to wander where it will, resolving knotty problems about plot providing a route to the necessary happy ending.
But you don't have to travel that far to enjoy the benefits of water, fountains and lakes in city parks can be just as enjoyable, or walking along a canal. Even just soaking in a bath has been known to help when I have been wrestling with a storyline!
Happy reading (and writing).
Melinda Hammond / Sarah Mallory
Beauty & the Brooding Lord