So, as I thought and thought about a topic for this blog, I tossed aside several topics. Many have already been done, and done well, here already. (Dialogue and POV, I’m looking at you!) And then I started thinking, I need a spark--just like when I start a new story.
I’m an out-of-the-blue writer. I have yet to start a story with, I’d like to write about xyx. Instead, something kind of pops in my brain and it will spark off another random idea. Rub each other the right way--or the wrong way, as is often the case in the beginning of a romance novel--and there’s the little teeny flame that will become my story.
I’m actually quite good at dousing the flames of story. This is something I’ve had to learn to NOT do over the years. If I over think, attempt too much plotting, or take a seriously wrong turn, I’m out in writing land with no fire. Usually, I can backtrack and get it going again, but not if I’ve over plotted. (That’s a whole ‘nother post!) It’s a lot more work to get back on track, though, so I have learned over the years to keep an eye on the fire. What are the flames doing? Are they getting low? One sign of that, for me, is the daily word count drops off. If that happens, then I’m probably heading down the wrong path.
Every writer is different in what sets off those sparks. I love how it can be something totally unrelated that gives that aha! moment. For my Christmas Special Edition debut, it was the slightly frayed belt loops on a pair of guy’s pants. Those pants ended up on my doctor hero and it’s one of the first things my heroine notices about him. The connection? Who knows? I never tried to reason it out. But it was the (admittedly odd) spark that brought the story to life.
Other times, it’s more obvious. In my April Harlequin Romance, my heroine owns a flower shop. There is a lovely one in my town, and after driving past it for years, it hit me it’d be a great place for a romance heroine to work. Of course, the flower shop itself is not a novelty. But it was the thing that set off the spark for that particular story on that particular day.
So, I’ve learned to trust myself, even when it seems odd. Because when two ideas bump up against each other, you never know what kind of magic will spark from there.
How about you? How do your ideas become books?