Friday 27 February 2015

Where The Ideas Flow with Abi Elphinstone

Today I am pleased to welcome Abi Elphinstone back onto the blog to show us where her ideas develop.
Abi Elphinstone
I would love to provide you with a super-slick post about how effortless my ‘Idea Flow’ process is. But sadly that’s not going to happen. I’m dyslexic – and my ideas do not flow. They bump and jostle and wriggle and squirm. In fact it would be more truthful to describe the Abi Elphinstone ‘Idea Flow’ as an ‘Idea Knot.’ But somehow the knot always untangles in the end – and I think it might be because:
1. I turned the hut at the bottom of my garden into a writing shed then filled it with things that inspire me to write: books, a framed message from Philip Pullman, dreamcatchers, gypsy artefacts, the Escape The City manifesto…
Writing Hut
2. I hung wooden signs displaying my favourite lines from children’s books all around the shed…
Children's Book Lines
3. I bought a pair of writing slippers. My feet are always cold and if I’m cold I can’t write…
4. I found an old desk at an antiques fair and squeezed it into my shed. The marble slab on the top is strangely calming and I always have a scented candle going when I write. That way, even if I’m filled with chaotic knots, I feel outwardly like the perfection of writerly serenity…
5. I gather anything story-related onto a big mood board in my shed: newspaper clippings, letters, words, photos, postcards, hand-drawn maps, codes…
6. I have about three notepads on the go at any one time. And I write down everything that pops into my brain during the early ‘idea’ phase of a book…
7. I can’t describe settings until they’re really clear in my head first so I draw my fictional worlds onto ordnance survey maps bought from charity shops
8. I keep all my old diaries in a drawer in my hut and sometimes before writing about my main character, Moll (who is basically me), I read through my diaries to get myself back into the mindset of a 12-year-old girl hungry for adventure…
Diary page
9. I write everywhere I can – in my shed, in the car, on buses, trains, planes, up trees, inside caves and even on the back of a motorbike (once)…
Cave writing
10. I recently bought this magical floating reading chair and I’ve already started spinning inside it and thinking of new stories. It helps untangle the knots BIG TIME…
Hanging chair
Dreamsnatcher Final High Res Cover
The Dreamsnatcher by Abi Elphinstone is published by Simon and Schuster and available to buy now.
To find out more about Abi Elphinstone:


  1. What a great post. I now have massive shed envy :)

  2. Love your shed! So jealous. Coveting those slippers too... :)

  3. I *love* this post! Drawing your world onto a map is such a cool idea!x

  4. Fabulous guest post! Abi's a very creative person! :)


Hiya, thanks for stopping by, it is always nice to hear what you have to say, so do leave a comment if you have time.