Where do your story ideas come from?
As an author, many people ask me where my story ideas come from. Often, I answer, “I don’t know.” I wish I had a better reply for them, but ideas are sketchy little creatures who either bless you with their presence or leave you searching frantically for them. On Karen Kendall’s website, one of my fave authors, she says she keeps them in her fridge with the chocolate. Unfortunately, I’ve never been able to find any in there. Although, the chocolate is plentiful.
Instead, my story ideas come to me in the shower, as I’m trying to get to sleep, or while I’m on a plane about to take off and can’t get up to grab a pen out of my briefcase to write it down. My problem has never been finding ideas, it has been trying to capitalize on all the ideas I have.
It seems like ideas are everywhere. The idea for my current release, Going Topless, came to me while sitting in an outdoor café in Amsterdam, looking at the beauty and romance of the city. I thought about how this was the perfect place to set a story about sisters who were looking for love and to find themselves.
I have a new series coming out this year from Siren Publishing revolving around a male escort service called, Pleasures, Inc. The idea for this series came to me when I wondered what really goes on behind the scenes at an escort service. And how much fun would it be to take away some of the usual romance inhibitions of a first date, and let our imagination wander on two people who were seeking only pleasure and companionship?
But, though the initial idea for a story usually comes easy for me, developing that story into actual chapters can be much more difficult. They take a lot of research and deliberate concentration to make sure the story flows well and engages the reader.
At that stage, most of my ideas come from reading and real life experiences. There is a lot to be gained from reading, and the ideas just jump off the page. Suddenly, you start thinking, “What if, instead of my character doing X, they do Y?” Or maybe you are checking out a microfilm of an old newspaper, and an item really interests you. You start to wonder what would happen if a similar situation overcame your heroine, or maybe, instead, the exact opposite situation.
And then you are back to having too many ideas. Which can be a crux in itself. Because soon I want to write them all. And alas, there is only so much time in a day.
So, I note my idea, grab a piece of chocolate from the fridge, and sit down to write and finish the story idea I had already started to work on. After all, a story idea isn’t any good if no one gets to read it.
I’d better get back to my current story now, so that I can complete the manuscript and then begin to work on the millions of other ideas I have sitting in my file.