Friday Fiction – Finding Writing Inspiration (Part 3)

by | Oct 3, 2014

I have covered different ways of finding writing inspiration in these Friday posts. If you missed part 1 and part 2, please feel free to catch up and I hope you find it useful. This week I am looking at creating fictional pieces from real life stories. I found this article in my local newspaper:

Horse article

And it inspired me to write a children’s short story. I wrote the story from the horse’s point of view, as I thought that it would have more appeal to a younger age group. Here is an extract:

It was 6 am and Old Red, as usual, had not yet made his way out to the paddock when the owner of the sanctuary and his wife and daughter came to muck out the stables and feed the horses.

‘Good morning old boy,’ the owner said to him. ‘Ready to get up and face the day?’ Old Red struggled to his feet, giving an appreciative ‘neigh’ for the fresh hay as his carer added it to his stable. ‘I don’t know how long I’ll be able to do this for, old boy,’ the owner said to Red, stroking his mane. ‘We’re struggling to keep this place running and our main donor has just pulled out on us. It is not looking too good for you lot I’m afraid.’

Old Red rubbed his muzzle against the cheek of the owner to show that he understood. Inside he was worried. The future of the sanctuary was uncertain and he could do nothing about it. He ambled slowly outside, deep in thought.

Out on the paddock, Flame was limping behind Marmite and Beano.
‘Come on Flame, race you,’ Beano teased as he cantered off to the far side of the field.
‘I could still run with the best of them you know,’ Flame replied. ‘When I was a champion racer….’
‘Yeah, yeah,’ Marmite interrupted, ‘here we go again. Champion racer this, champion racer that. You can’t even trot now.’
‘Well if I could, I’d have no problem beating you young cheeky mares, now off with you kiddo.’

Marmite raced off. He and Beano were always teasing Flame about his days as a racehorse. Flame pretended that he did not mind, although really it saddened him that he could no longer run as he once had. Blossom could see through his pretences though, and she came over to comfort her friend.

‘Those young boys are nothing but trouble,’ she said to Flame.
‘Maybe you’re right. They are wild young things and they’ll never settle down. When I was young, all I wanted to do was race and I trained hard to be the best.’
‘You were a strong horse and you still are, Flame. Maybe with your fatherly influence you can turn those boys around.’
Blossom and Flame looked at each other. Their eyes met for a second before Blossom turned quickly away.
‘I think Ebony is calling me,’ she stuttered, before trotting away.

Marmite and Beano had moved on to teasing Apple, who was standing quietly at the far end of the Paddock, looking out over the fields beyond.
‘What is she looking for,’ Marmite said loudly to Beano.
‘I don’t know, maybe she thinks a handsome stallion is going to come and take her away.’
‘I hope he does, she’s too boring,’ said Marmite.

Apple wasn’t listening. She had heard it all before, every day in fact, since she arrived at the sanctuary six months earlier. She didn’t care what the others thought of her. All she cared about was the family who had given her away when they emigrated. Deep down Apple knew that they were never coming back, but she kept looking anyway, just in case they ever changed their minds.

‘You leave young, Apple alone boys. Go and practice your jumps over there.’ Old Red was making his daily round of the paddock.
‘Thanks,’ Apple said to him, then she turned to look over the fields again. Old Red was saddened to see the hurt look on her face.

‘You know Apple, darling, I used to stand in this exact same spot when I first came here, dreaming of my master and family. Eventually I began to turn around and I realised that the other horses here had once done exactly the same thing too. We are all hurting, but that is what makes us such a strong family. Take Blossom, for example, she had so many foals that she stopped counting in the end, yet she never had the chance to be a mother to any of them because they were all taken away from her. When she came here she was so sad and alone, but then Ebony and Bay arrived and she realised she could love them as if they were her own. Her mothering instinct is so strong; let her be a mother to you too.’

Even though she said nothing, Old Red knew that Apple was listening. He left her to her thoughts.


Nikki Young Writes
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  1. maddy@writingbubble

    This is a very sweet little tale. I like the hint of romance and the parenthood themes. It did make me feel a bit sad though – perhaps particularly because I knew it was inspired by real-life abandoned horses! I like the idea of using newspaper articles to inspire stories, it keeps fiction current. Thanks for hosting #fridayfiction

    • Nicola Young

      I know, what a sad story and it made me think that every horse has probably got a tale to tell and so I incorporated this in to the story.

  2. Funky Wellies

    Lovely story, inspiration can come from so many everyday moments! xx

    • Nicola Young

      Thanks. It’s true and especially when you look in your local paper. It was a toss up between this article and one about a church service for pets!

  3. Sara (@mumturnedmom)

    I really like the idea of using a newspaper story to inspire you. And, I really like this, like Maddy I enjoyed the themes of motherhood and love running through it x

    • Nicola Young

      Thanks, it was a good exercise to do.

  4. sophieblovett

    A lovely story – I imagine a child would be totally compelled by the voices you have given the horses. I find my inspiration comes from all sorts of sources too. The novel in my head to work on next is growing from the seeds planted by an inscription on a bench. It doesn’t take much to set off an idea!

    • Nicola Young

      That sounds intriguing. You find some really heart felt written inscriptions on places like that.

  5. deskmonkeymummy

    I love the connection between the horses and can feel the worry running through them. I liked the connection between Blossom and Flame, too. Is this one you’re going to pursue? x

    • Nicola Young

      It is a 5000 word story, but like a lot of things, it is sitting gathering virtual dust on my hard drive.



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