As a writer, we all experience this at least one time in our lives:
“So…” blushes and silence.
“Yes?” we prod.
“So, where do you get your ideas?”
Us-bangs head against the nearest hard surface.
I love Jeff Foxworthy and his ‘You might be a redneck if…’ jokes.
You might be an author if the above question makes you want to rip your hair out, or the hair of the person asking such a question.
But as a reader, I also understand. The amazing things writers come up with is astounding. The written word is as limitless as the imagination.
My novella coming out October 8th, Dragos: Burned, essentially came about because of two things– my love of all things dragon, and the spark of an idea I had.
What would happen if a dragon shapeshifter and a fireman fell in love?
Well, right there told me it was going to be a paranormal romance.
I had been pushing my personal boundaries and trying to write (and be comfortable with writing) sex scenes. So, I decided to include some of those.
Then it became a paranormal erotic romance.
***See how my brain progresses
So, I sat down to write my 1 sentence per chapter\scene outline.
When I got done, it had turned into a novella, not a novel.
Sure, I could have pushed for a novel, but the shorter length worked for me.
My ideas normally start with a character. For example, my historical paranormal romance came about because–my love for all things big cat (tigers) and my love of kick butt heroines in historicals. So, I made my heroine a princess in a matriarchal clan of tiger shapeshifters. And the hero? Well, she had to track him down and drag him home.
Ideas are everywhere. I remember a time I’d hear that and snort. No they aren’t.
The key is to train your brain to see them. And then, WRITE THEM DOWN. I don’t care if you have a photographic memory. The best ideas will slip through your fingers before they’re fully formed.
If you WRITE THEM DOWN, they’ll linger in your subconscious, growing and adding to themselves until one day, they’re ready for your inspection.
As authors, it’s our job not just to write, but to constantly cultivate ideas.
Just as we learn the craft, we learn how to see nibbles of ideas in everything around us (or, in my case, inside my wild imagination).