Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Ideas--where do they come from?

I'm asked often, "Where do you get your ideas?"
Hmmm. Good question. Hard to answer since having ideas for stories has never been a problem. I know other writers struggle to come up with stories but not me. I have stacks of spiralbound notebooks full of ideas ranging from historical romance novels, tons of suspense and thrillers, contemporary romances and women's fiction. Now, you have to understand, I was extremely shy and reserved as a child to the point where I rarely talked unless I had to, but I was constantly telling myself stories. I was laughed at alot because I would wander around the play ground or be riding on the bus telling myself a story. Out loud. And sometimes would even act them out.
My critique partners are quite amused when I start telling them ideas for a new story. I don't think I'll ever have time to write them all.
You might wonder what sparks my stories--well, almost anything. I love to people watch and do the 'what if' game. I love to listen to real life stories and then tweak them. My second published novel was born from a story a co-worker of my husbands told him, who then told me. This woman had been in the park and saw some teens tossing a puppy around. She gave them twenty bucks and rescued the pup. From that tidbit came A Sheltering Love. Sometimes I dream stories. I'll wake up and grab for the pen and paper before the story leaves my head. My book A Time of Hope came to me this way. I dreamt the opening scene where the hero and heroine met. Sometimes I will have a character first and then build a story around the character. The book I'm currently working on, which will be out sometime in 2010, started that way. The heroine was a secondary character in my upcoming November 2009, Chasing Shadows. I decided to take her on vacation. But she doesn't vacation well and finds danger instead. Sometimes as I'm writing the plot will take turns I hadn't seen coming. That's always fun. In Chasing Shadows I thought I knew who the villian was but by the end I was taken completely by surprise because it wasn't who I'd planned on. So exciting!


EllenToo said...

The fact that you can see the idea for stories in common occurrences is why you make a wonderful writer.

Debby Giusti said...

Hi Terri,
Like you, I find stories in everything around me. The hard part is deciding which ideas can be developed into a compelling full-length manuscript.

Terri Reed said...

Thanks Ellen. I often joke with my hubby that I have a movie projecter in my head.
Debby, I know your books are very compelling so you must be doing it right.

Linda said...

It's intriguing to hear how you get stories. Believe me, you would NOT want to write what I dream about! What a treat you get to be able to write stories. Know you have a gift from God, as we the readers, love to read them!!!
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