I wrote a couple of weeks back about my favourite hooks in fiction, but recently the importance of real-life hooks has come home to me, as triggers for my own story ideas.
It’s always the tale part told that fires my imagination – a half heard conversation, a historical story where the full truth has been lost in the past, the view through a window into an unfamiliar house. I’ve become adept at appearing to look straight ahead whilst swivelling my eyes sideways… I love tantalising partial details; they provide hours of fun as I ponder what’s behind them.
And this weekend in Cambridge, restricted views into other people’s lives are on offer for free, thanks to the wonderful Cambridge Open Studios. In theory, this event exists so that talented local artists and craftspeople can showcase their work. They do, and it’s great, but the key point is, you get to see their wares in their homes. The temptation to invent stories around the types of belongings they have, what they choose to paint and the books on their shelves is overwhelming. I wouldn’t want to seem like a freeloader – I promise I’ve bought both paintings and jewellery from open studios in the past – but, a’hem, the snoop factor is also a massive bonus.