`1` Romance worth killing for
Shattering Romantic Suspense
Author Websites
Elisabeth Naughton
Joan Swan
Linda Winfree
Author's Latest Releases

Coming Soon

AddThis Feed Button

Industry Blogs We Like
Agent Obscura
Anatomy of a Book Deal
Bookends Literary Agency Blog
The Bradford Bunch
Buzz, Balls & Hype
Jennifer Jackson, Literary Agent
The Knight Agency
Magical Musings
Mid-Willamette Valley RWA Blog
Kristin Nelson, Literary Agent
Jenny Rappaport, Literary Agent
Miss Snark
Murder She Writes
Paperback Writer
Romancing The Blog
Running With Quills
Working Stiffs
Samhain Publishing
Wine Country Romance Writers, RWA
Author Blogs We Like
Elisa Adams
Carol Burnside
Brenda Coulter
Tanya Holmes
Larissa Ione
Lydia Joyce
Elisabeth Naughton
Patti O'Shea
Edie Ramer
Kate Rothwell
Marissa Scott
Lynne Simpson
Amie Stuart
Joan Swan
Karin Tabke
Stephanie Tyler
Linda Winfree
Recommended Resources
Agent Query
Charlotte Dillon
Common Redundancies in Writing
Cop Talk--Karin Tabke
Crime in Mind
Cruisie/Mayer 2007 Online Workshop
Kiss of Death RWA Chapter
Publisher's Marketplace
Romance Agents
Romance Writers of America
Previous Blogs
February 2006
March 2006
April 2006
May 2006
June 2006
July 2006
August 2006
September 2006
October 2006
November 2006
December 2006
January 2007
February 2007
March 2007
April 2007
May 2007
June 2007
July 2007
August 2007
September 2007
October 2007
November 2007
December 2007
January 2008
What We're Working On Now

Elisabeth: Marked

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
33,126 / 95,000

Joan: Buried Secrets

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
68,000 / 115,000

Linda: Facing It

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
45,540 / 85,000

:~: Tuesday, March 13, 2007 :~:

Where Ideas Come From

This is probably the number one thing writers get asked about, and for me at least, it's the hardest one to answer. Ideas can come from anywhere--a line in a TV show or song, something someone says to you in conversation, dreams, or even other books. Most of the time, though, I find the ideas are just there. They don't come from anywhere specific. (I'd say the characters whisper them in my ear, but to anyone who isn't a writer, telling them that is going to make me sound like a nut case :grin: )

A recent idea from a fortune cookie. The fortune said "someone is watching you from afar". A little stalker-ish and once I was finished being creeped out :grin: I started thinking about how I could incoporate that into a story.

When I took the kids to visit my parents on Sunday, my mom asked me why I don't use some of the crazy things the kids have done in one of my books. I told her I don't use them often since I don't usually write children in my books, but I do keep a file. There are a few things my middle son has done that I just have to use. A couple of examples--he glued the dog's collar to her fur a while back because he thought it irritated her when it spun around her neck, and he clogged the toilet one time when he was trying to hide a pair of socks in the bowl. These two things, I've used. I just couldn't resist.

Other than that, I don't usually use real life experiences in my writing. Exciting things generally don't happen around here, so I have to rely on my imagination.

Where do you get your ideas? Do you incorporate real life events into your writing?


Blogger Joan Swan said...


Great topic. I absolutely use a lot of daily life in my writing--from character to plot. Of course it's always just pieces of things here and there added for reality.

For example, I have a wierd habit of being irritated at things that repeat--the tapping of a pencil, popping of gum, a kid kicking a chair. (My own kids swear I'm going to make them twitch because I won't let them fidget.) So, I gave my heroine a similar, although not quite so extensive, problem and a hero who likes to tap fingers when he's thinking.

Plot--I get a lot of ideas from magazine articles, trial coverage, newspapers.

But, like you, Elisa, most of my ideas come from somewhere deeper inside and they don't usually start big. They start with a character or a problem or a grand plot that I have to cast appropriately.

5:49 PM  
Blogger Paty Jager said...

My ideas for stories come from newspapers, researching for one book and getting the idea for another. Or visiting historic places or reading about them.

Of course I write historical so that helps. :)

As for using everyday things that happen - I do talk to people and use some of their experiences. My on contemporary, I did include the pulling of a calf it happened to my husband and I, and my paranormal I used watching the 4th of July fireworks to write about a spirit disintegrating.

4:10 PM  
Blogger Elisabeth Naughton said...

Great topic, Elisa. I'm not sure, either. I get snippets of plot ideas from watching the news or reading the paper (which I do rarely) or watching movies or TV now and then, but most of my stories develop from the characters. Once I know them, I know what issues they're facing. The books I've had trouble writing are the ones where I have a plot and try to work the characters into it. Generally, I have to go the other way to get it all to work.

8:05 PM  
Blogger Maggie said...

Actually, regarding the whole characters whispering in your ear thing, Marjorie Taylor at the University of Oregon has studied exactly that. She likens it to similar behavior among children with their imaginary companions. http://www.uoregon.edu/~mtaylor/ic/AuthorsProject.html

My ideas often come as a random line (I have a Blurb file in Word) or scene. A few from dreams, overheard snippets of dialogue. But I think you're right in saying that a lot of it comes from within rather than without.

10:07 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home