Monday, May 10, 2010

Where Do Your Ideas Come From

As a writer I get this question a lot. And it's a hard one for me to answer because I get my ideas for my books from my characters.

I start developing my characters first, then I play what if and why game with myself and the characters.

For Example: IN PLAIN SIGHT, my Scarlet Rose book from The Wild Rose Press, I did this: What if a man and woman were trapped in an elevator?
And what if these two had been dancing around their attraction to each other for a while?
And what if they had sex in the stalled elevator?
What if the heroine had a stalker ex-fiance?
Why would he stalk her?
Why does the hero pursue her?
What if they work together in the same company?

That's all it took for me, the first scene blossomed from the what if a man and woman were trapped in an elevator. The other questions flowed and I started to write the opening of the book.

As you can see, the what if and the why play a big part in my ideas. It helps me determine the conflicts, the motivation and the characters for the book.

I've heard it say ideas can be found anywhere, but for me I find mine by creating my characters, then putting them in a situation that is going to do nothing but cause them both trouble.

2 comments:

Jenna Howard said...

It's never the same for me. Sometimes it's a picture I see when I troll through istockphoto, sometimes it's a word or a sentence I hear, or a song. For my Midnight Hour I was literally falling asleep when a voice in my head said "My name is Scorpio. I kill those who need to be killed. Did I mention I'm your heroine?"

But yeah - it's always the characters first and who they are really determines the story. Isn't this job the best?

Marie Tuhart said...

Hi Jenna,

Yeah, sometimes this job is the best. It's when those characters wake you up in the middle of the night saying "Wait a minute I wouldn't do that" to a scene you wrote hours ago.

Have a great week.