Holy Mackerel, it’s hot this summer! But it’s nice and early this morning and Author Judy Snider and I are sitting’ on the porch with a pitcher of sweet tea a piece. It’s not too steamy out here yet, so we’re enjoying some author time together. Judy is telling me where her story ideas come from. It’s pretty interesting…Let’s listen…
One of the questions I often get from readers is how do I come up with an idea for a book? I remember the words of an author I heard at a conference who said when he dropped off his manuscript in a mailbox, and started pondering what to write next, he suddenly heard a title whispered in his ear. He said he was startled, spun around, yet there was no one there. He said he heard the name loud and clear, and went on to write the book and use that title.
Since I love suspense, the normal every day work I do, places I go, walks I take, all provide many opportunities for story lines. One day I went to open the blinds of my back door. Just as I opened the blinds, there was a face pressed up against the other side of the window. Well, it is a good thing my heart was in good condition then, because it nearly came out of my chest as I yelled, “What do you want?” while stepping away from the door.
The man heard nothing I said, as he had earphones in his ears, and he was putting flyers inside our storm door. He sauntered down the steps never having seen me. So, now writing my third novel, (Each takes me about 8-10 months to write) I am using the same scene in the story. Only he’s not just placing flyers in the storm door.
Now, I wouldn’t want you to get into a scary situation for a story or title, but you probably have suddenly seen or done something and said, “Wow, that would make a good story.”
Sometimes I want to turn off the list in my head of good story ideas, as they all plague me to have their turn to be written. If you’re an author, you’ll know exactly what I mean. So watch, listen and observe. Who knows, you just might hear your muse whisper a title in your ear too. And if it does, maybe you should listen.
Wow, thanks Judy. A man in the window, huh? Sheesh. I’d have fainted on the spot. Thanks for sitting’ on the porch with me today. Find out more about Judy, her books and her songs, on my Porch Guests page.
Usually I don’t need to search for ideas. My latest novella, The Monogram Killer, was written after listening to ‘Hollywood Nights’ by Bog Seger, while exercising on the treadmill. All a writer needs is a character, an event, an object, a place, or any combination to start writing. Getting ideas for me is the easy part – developing them into a story is where the challenge lies.