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Monday, July 23, 2012

How I get Story Ideas

Story ideas…. There are times I wonder if I’m going to run out of them and other times where ideas come flying at me to the point I can’t write them all down. When I start doubting they won’t come, I’ve gotten myself in a panic and into a writer’s block. When I catch myself worrying when that next idea is going to come, I intentionally let go and turn my direction on movies and books that inspire me. From there, I get a jumpstart.

I do have one great secret weapon and that is my little black tape recorder. If I find myself having problems generating ideas. I let my mind wonder right before I fall asleep. If nothing comes that night or the next, I don’t worry about it. They do come eventually just right before I fall asleep. I record them right then and there; otherwise, I know I’ll forget most of everything in the light of day. If I can’t find my tape recorder, I’ll resort to a notepad by my pillow.

A great way I get story ideas is by using the ‘what if’ question. I’ve used it for years and have come up with some great ideas that have ended up on published pages. I’ve always been one who will read a book or watch a movie and then go “Oh, what a great idea, but ‘what if’ the hero did this or that, or ‘what if’ so-and-so shows up on scene or reacted this way. From those ‘what if’ questions or scenarios, I add even more to them until I have a completely different story. I found myself doing that with H. G. Wells and Alexandre Duma and was amazed at what I came up with.

I did many a ‘what if’ with one of my contemporary romances, The Long Road Home, and had such fun doing it. I have the hero and heroine on a road

trip from New York to California and thought of some hilarious scenarios they could be hit with. Some of them didn’t get put into the book because they were just too outlandish BUT I did give them a couple of huge obstacles along the way, including a dress, a dog and a bear.

The Long Road Home: Travel across the country with her old lover, John McDonnell--and his girlfriend? Impossible. But Clarisse Madison is desperate. Terrified of flying and unable to drive long stretches because of a knee surgery, she sees no other way to get from New York to San Diego and her sister’s wedding.

Three years ago, a plane crash disfigured her leg and destroyed her career as a model. Self-esteem crushed and fearful of rejection, Clarisse severed her relationship with John. Now, forced to travel across the country with him and his girlfriend, Vivian, she is determined to hide her disfigurement. Driving through state after state and mile after mile, though, she begins to fall in love all over again.
But can anything come of it? Can she overcome her pride for the sake of love?

Available on Barnes &Noble, Amazon and Kobo


2 comments:

Allison Merritt said...

The tape recorder sounds like a great idea, H.D. Like you, I often wonder where next idea is coming from. I've been lucky in having pretty good secondary characters to carry my series. I don't have any in mind for another novel after I start my next WIP, but I'm sure they'll come.

H.D. Thomson said...

I also know of one person that uses solitaire to tap into her subconscious and another who gets her ideas in the shower of all things! lol I guess everyone is a little different. Heck as long as it works, that's my motto.

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