Tuesday, July 12, 2011
Story Ideas are Everywhere!
When people find out I write books, they have a tendency to respond in one of two ways. Either they ask “Where do you get your ideas?” Or, they say, “Boy, have I got juicy stories for you!”
If they offer personal stories sure to earn me all kinds of awards, I graciously thank them, but suggest they write the story themselves. Why? Because no one can tell your story as well as you can.
On the other hand, when someone asks, “Where do you get your ideas?” My answer is…everywhere. I sign onto AOL in the morning and there are a dozen story ideas waiting for me. I get inspiration from television programs, Facebook messages, a Santa Claus gnome suddenly appearing in my front yard, in July – true story. I also get ideas while I’m on my walk, inspired by brilliant colors of flowers in bloom.
For me, it’s the “why game” that turns a random news story into a full-length book. For instance, a few years ago a reporter covered a story about a woman who went missing on a ferry. She boarded the ferry in downtown Seattle and never got off on Bainbridge Island. They found her car on the ferry, her purse, her keys, etc. Where did she go? Since I’m into happily-ever-afters I decided she needed to escape to start a new life, a better life. But why? What was she running from? Did she feel she had no other options?
Game on! How would you write this one?