Inspiration, Characters and a Damn Good Title

What are the ingredients that go into a good masterpiece? What recipe do you follow when stirring up a new batch of literary fiction?

For me, there are three crucial elements that form the base of any hearty literary meal I’m working on. Like the holy trinity down in Deep South Cajun Country (that’s bell peppers, onion and celery y’all) I believe there are three underpinning core elements a new book must have.

Using my own current series as a case study, I’m going to explore the holy trinity of writing…


This should be a given. Without appropriate inspiration, the writer has no desire to write that beast of a book. She might have the ideas, even a plot or synopsis, but without inspiration, it will remain only so many rambling words in her mind.

And that is precisely what my own series might have remained as – rambling thoughts – but for the inspiration that struck and forced the story out. In my case the inspiration was an image that took my character from the murky reaches of my brain and brought her to life. This is that image;


On sight of this image, the vague outline, the ideas, coalesced into words and meaning. My series had form and I had the inspiration to begin it.


As integral to your literary gumbo as solid ideas and inspiration, are those tiny beings that enact your ideas and walk through your plot. Characters.

I consider myself to be a lucky writer, as my inspiration to write usually shows up on my mental doorstep as a character. Case in point above. I had my inspiration from the image above and I also had the basis for my main character. A few hours later and she had a name; Grace Dyer.

Shortly after, more characters followed Gracie into my plot and the birth had well and truly begun. I had need of but one final element…

A damn good title

So most writers will tell you that you don’t need a title to begin writing your novel. No, maybe not straight away, but I will loudly proclaim that a damn good title will help you to keep your literary soup thick and fresh. A damn good title will also keep you focused on the end goal; getting that soup on the table in front of your hungry diners.

How does a title do that? For me it’s through the power of imagination. I imagine hearing my title on the lips of my readers. I imagine seeing it on a fancy book cover on a book shop shelf. I imagine a talk show host introducing the title as the NYT next best seller… ok, so I’ve got a great imagination.

The point still stands. A damn good title is like the salt and pepper that finishes off your meal and leaves it ready to be served.

So… I now present to you all, for the very first time, my bubbling creation:

       The Guns of Perdition Saga; Book 1 – Raising Death

Keep watch of this blog for news about and excerpts from Grace Dyer’s adventures in Guns of Perdition; Book 1 estimated release – May 2017

6 thoughts on “Inspiration, Characters and a Damn Good Title

  1. That is an ambitious deadline but love the image and a great title as well 🙂 Hmm not sure what I might consider for three key ingredients. I know for me one that jumps out right of is Motivation. If I am not motivated nothing will get written. Of course motivation can come from inspiration, a desire for wealth, fame, or just a need to share a world with others. Besides motivation I need a key idea/theme which I think would match inspiration from above more than motivation. Idea or theme for me would be like Grim’s main plot line – son of an ancient Norse monster who seeks to free his father from enslavement and torture. That was my main idea/theme that started that story. For Wolf the main theme is Armageddon and how the Guardian of Nature (Fenrir) has agents in the modern world trying to prevent it (Wolf).

    For the third I think character is also a great ingredient but it depends on the book.All fiction-fantasy books should have memorable character(s) but some will span a long time period and have different characters while others might focus on a main character or a group of characters. Another possibility is the setting – which to me would cover the world, lore, setting, magic system (if there is one), gods/religion, etc. Where does the story take place and what is the environment like, the people, etc.

    Guess if forced to pick 3 for me it would be: Motivation, Setting, Character. Followed closely with Plot and Title.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks hon; yes, motivation is also a biggie but I have plenty of that at the moment so it’s moot for me right now. TIME is a big factor for me…

      Plot funnily enough is only secondary for me. I can build that as I write (usually), or half the time the character tells me his story after I create him. Setting is much the same.

      It’s weird how I just can’t get ‘into’ a book until I have the title worked out. Maybe just a weird ‘me’ thing!

      As for the ETA for “Guns” well, I am hoping to publish them via KDP and in instalments so thus the soonish deadline. Still though, better get my butt into gear!


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