Saturday, August 8, 2015

Sun, sand and cervesas

One of the questions I frequently get asked, is where do you get all of your ideas from?

My answer: It's not so much where do I get all the ideas from, it's how can I find the time to write stories for all of my ideas? 

Stories hit me from all angles. I was once reading a travel brochure on Hawaii, and just a single line from the brochure about volcanoes opened up this entire world in my head. It was like it was all sitting there in my sub-conscious waiting for me to find the right key to unlock it.

Where do I find the problem? Sometimes I get so involved in the writing, I forget simple things, like eating, talking to people, etc. And after a while, my stories start to feel like I'm living like a hermit. They get stale. The ideas are no longer bouncing. They need some serious spice to them. 

This is a problem frequently felt by creative people. How do you fill the creative well? For me, it's usually taking a break from the writing, reading, watching movies, or travel. Sometimes I just have to leave the computer at home, and actually live life a little, and travel is my absolute kryptonite. 

One of my most memorable trips was to Europe in 2008, and London, where the basics of my London Steampunk series started coming alive. Hence why, when I got the chance to travel to New York recently for the RWA conference (which is a long way from Australia), it made sense to see something else while I was over there. (Seriously, it's an Australian thing. If you have to sit on a plane for 15+ hours then you may as well make sure you take advantage of that time!). Considering my brother was travelling through South America at the time, we decided to meet up in Central America. Then my mum got on board and decided to meet us in Mexico.

Tikal at Guatemala

It was a long six months of eating 2-minute noodles, no takeout, no shopping, and the super budget my boyfriend designed, but we finally got there. And it was so worth it!

Cancun, which has some lovely beaches. Plus my brother who adores photos. Not.

Chichen Itza in Mexico. I was having visions of an Apocalypto-type story here. 
One of the things I love about seeing new places, is how much it opens up your mind. New experiences mean more fodder for the creative mind to draw upon. I'm not going to lie: it doesn't help the-time-to-write-all-these-stories vs the-amount-of-stories-to-write issue at all. It just creates more stories.

I'm also quite possibly the only person who enjoys 9 hr long bus rides. Do you know how much plotting you can get done in that time?

Universal Studios, and one of my all-time favourite action heroes. No seriously. He was there.  I touched his arm. 
So now I'm home. It's been seven long weeks. I've missed my boyfriend, my dog and my computer. And I'm chocked to the brim full of stories to write. I'm not sad to have missed the coldest Australian winter in a decade though!

Until next time... I'll be here, slaving away at my computer!

Bec McMaster

London Steampunk


  1. As someone who was on a plane 4 hours recently, I don't know how you do 15. I bet you can get a lot of work done, though!

  2. Wow, how exciting to see all of those places! Hope you enjoyed your visit to New York as well as the opportunity to see the exotic countries you mentioned and I look forward to seeing how your travels are incorporated in your exciting steampunk tales!