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I don’t think I’ve ever begun a writing project with a solid, complete plot in mind. All of my books have been sparked by a single image – a poster on a café wall (Life in Outer Space), a newspaper headline tucked in the back of the paper (The Incredible Adventures of Cinnamon Girl), a glimpse of a particularly pretty deck of cards in a shop window (as yet untitled future novel). Collecting banks of images is always my go-to task when I’m struggling with the words; something like the below, which has infinite catalyst potential for a story:
Image source: The Melbourne Horror Film Society
Melissa Keil is a writer and children’s editor. Her debut young adult novel, Life in Outer Space, was the inaugural winner of The Ampersand Project, an initiative for debut writers. Her second novel, The Incredible Adventures of Cinnamon Girl, will be published in September 2014. Say hello at www.melissakeil.com, or find her on twitter @MissMisch77
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Sam van Zweden was Writers Bloc’s Online Editor from 2013 - 2015. A Melbourne-based writer and blogger, her work has appeared in The Big Issue, Voiceworks, Tincture Journal, Page seventeen, and others. She’s passionate about creative nonfiction and cross stitch. She tweets @samvanzweden.