Monday, May 4, 2009

Where Do You Get Your Ideas?

It seems like I’ve been hit with this question a lot lately. I mean we all get it, but somehow, lately, it’s been more often. I think the workings of a writer's mind really are a mystery to regular (normal) people. "How can you think up enough stuff to write all those pages!

It's the simple classic question, "Where to you get your ideas?"
So I’ve kind of developed a standard answer. “I get a little inkling of ‘that would make a cool story’ then I start on ‘What If’ until I’ve got a book.
That’s true to some extent but usually the specifics are so weird it’s hard to explain how I got from Point A--me walking through a living history museum, to Point B--art teacher running for her life and traveling through time.
Okay, I admit I’ve never written that one yet.
But any writer knows idea can come from strange places.

Petticoat Ranch, the honest truth of Petticoat Ranch is it was inspired by the third Dirty Harry movie The Enforcer (it was about vigilantes if you’ll remember) and a Clive Cussler novel. Surely everyone can see the comparison. Throw in that my husband and I having four daughters when he’s from a family of all boys and you’ve got yourself … a western romance novel?

I’ve got a book releasing in June called Nosy in Nebraska that contains three cozy mysteries. They came out in the Heartsong Presents Mysteries book club and now they’ve been bound into a collection that will be in book stores in June.
The first book in that anthology, Of Mice. . . and Murder was inspired by the year I spent working at my local newspaper. The smallest imaginable small town weekly. I also used a cool old house in my hometown as a model for the house my heroine inherits, plus I included my own fear of mice. I went far afield though with the dead body in the pantry and the handsome young carpenter who has left a high paying job in Chicago and moved to town to indulge his love of working with his hands.
The dead body--could happen. The big city rich guy in a small town? That is pure fiction. It NEVER HAPPENS.

I’ll move on now to Montana Rose, coming in July. This is also a stretch to believe but I was inspired to write Montana Rose after reading Love Comes Softly. I love that book. Janette Oke’s classic Christian romance. Montana Rose starts in a similar vein to Oke’s, a pregnant widow in need of a husband in the west. That’s pretty much where I abandoned all similarity. Mayhem ensued. I promise that, if I hadn’t just told you that’s where I got my idea, you’d never have guessed.

You can see that, even though this is a question we get asked all the time, non-writers really don’t want to know the truth. It’s just too weird. I got an idea for a murder mystery from a weird automated phone call my mother once got. And yes, I got an idea for a time travel mystery once while walking through a very deserted living history museum.
Buffalo Gal was inspired by a newspaper article. And my own rather obsessive interest in buffalo


The Clueless Cowboy is more than any other book a real ‘Write What You Know’ book, about a country girl. That's me without mentioning the mice phobia.

The Bossy Bridegroom well, we won’t say what troublesome man inspired that. Best to leave that to the imagination.

So how about you? Where to you get YOUR ideas?

66 comments:

Katie said...

Great post, Mary! My ideas come from everywhere and nowhere! There is no rhyme or reason to them! How is that for helpful?

Ann said...

I think "What-iffing" should be a verb. Some of this probably comes from our right brain when we have an "ah, ha!" moment or an image flashes to mind.

Fun column!

Coffee's done and I'll put the kettle on for tea.

Tina M. Russo said...

Totally what ifs and things that skate by me in real life. I have an old fashioned index box jam packed with these things.

Julie Lessman said...

MARY!!!!! I refuse to believe Ivan could every be "The Bossy Bridegroom"!!! He's just too sweet!!

This is a great post -- fun to think about. Like you, my ideas come from real life gone wild. I attribute that to Donald Maas's Writing the Breakout Novel workbook, which taught me to ratchet an idea up by taking it to the next level of drama or "what if."

And I so agree with Ann -- "what-iffing" should be a verb ... it is for writers, I know.

Hugs,
Julie

Eileen Astels Watson said...

There really is not limit to where a writers ideas come from, is there? And asking the "What ifs" is a perfect way to explain how we take a single idea and expand on it. So very true! Thanks for sharing, Mary!

Mary Connealy said...

Actually that's your own What If Julie. Ivan is NOT the bossy bridegroom. Michael in that book is the husband of someone else. Only that someone else ended up divorced.
Bossy Bridegroom was me saying, What is 'Michael' had seriously tried to change? What if he'd become a Christian and made a sincere effort to end his tyrannical ways.

What if my friend got tough and demanded her husband be...sane.

What if friends, family and the church gathered around that marriage and demanded accountability and watched the relationship...and what if the hero in particular was willing to take the interference because of his own sincere desire to be a better man.

In the real world, my friend ended up divorced and her ex found a new woman to dominate and emotionally abuse.

And my friend re-married and found a new husband to emotionally batter her.

Sometimes real life can be such a pain.

Mary Connealy said...

A lot of times my ideas begin almost after the book is partly written.

I'll get an idea for a beginning. And inciting incident and I'll just start in. In an effort once to 'explode' my beginning, to wrote a scene that opened with a bomb exploding. Seriously the first line of that book was,

The bomb smashed JoAnne through the hotel window.
Six floors up.

And the whole scene was the resulting terror, noise, falling, slashing glass....I have to figure out why a bomb went off, who she was, how she lived, everything, after that opening scene.

And I did. I love that book. I call it Countdown.

Krista Phillips said...

First, I would just like to say, because You all so nicely had an all day Jammie day on Saturday, i am taking a break from my REAL job and joinin' y'all for donuts and coffee (but... I did bring my own hot chocolate... and some to share if there are any other non-coffee drinkers out there!)

Great post Mary about ideas! Mine come from a little of a lot of things. Mostly they start with a nugget of an idea that I get from everyday life. Do you know how many times I'll be in church or at the mall and see/hear something and think OH OH OH I could SO make that into a book! I have a little notebook in my purse just for that occassion! What's frustrating is making myself settle down on one idea at a time!

Since I write romance, I also like to brainstorm by thinking of fun ways a couple could meet. It was a game I played when I was little, dreaming up ways I could meet my future husband, and the practice has come in SO handy now!

Ann said...

When I meet new people I often ask how they met each other. It's a lot of fun, usually.

Janet Dean said...

Hi Mary, fun to hear where you got your story ideas. And to see your creative mind at work. Your stories are such fun!

I got the nugget for Courting Miss Adelaide from a newspaper clipping about the "orphan train." The Substitute Bride, the story I just turned in to my editor, is a twist on a mail-order bride story. Both what if moments based on historical facts.

For another book, yet unpublished, I took Susan Wigg's suggestion to come up with a heroine, then make the hero her worst nightmare. :-) Makes for great built in conflict.

I don't have a million story ideas floating through my head. I used to question if I was a "real" writer, but now I just figure we're all different.

Janet

Mary Connealy said...

I like it, Krista, that you were doing this your whole life.

Being a writer is really kind of an odd pastime. I mean, sitting by yourself, makin' stuff up. For 50 thousand or 100 thousand words.

So when you look back and see traces of 'the writer' all the way back to the beginning of your life it feels like it's really a part of you, not a hobby.

Mary Connealy said...

I like the 'how did you meet' question, Ann. I'll bet you hear interesting things. I might start doing that.

Mary Connealy said...

Tina's index box crammed with story ideas and nuggets is great. I used to have one of those. I still do have a few, on computer files, now.

I'd feel safer if I had a box crammed with them, though.

Erica Vetsch said...

I've gotten this question a couple times this last week too. It's kinda fun at first, but you're right. Explaining the convolutions of my mind is too hard.

I've settled for saying most of my ideas come from visiting museums and reading history books.

I wanna read the time travel book. Are you writing that one yet???

Crystal Laine Miller said...

Mary, no one thinks like you do about things, so I'm wondering how we translate your thoughts in our own messed up minds...(LOL)

I really love hearing how authors came up with their stories. It does help in how we look at life around us to see that life is just teeming with ideas.Great insight into your books!

And I am astounded that you are fearful of mice. Still, they say that what you fear most is what you should put into your own stories. I'm wondering how I can put my fear of elephants stampeding and trampling me to death into my manuscript.(Maybe they are being chased by your mice??)

Mary Connealy said...

I have NOT written the time travel book, Erica.

So, I went to a living history museum. Very very cool in Grand Island Nebraska. Pioneer Village.

All these buildings, The Flour Mill, the Tinsmith, the church, the diner, the school, the hardware store. All realistic replicas of the real thing. And people are supposed to be in them being tinsmiths and serving sasparilla at the diner and running the flour mill, except that's the summer. I went in September and it was 99% deserted. Almost spooky really. And I'm walking along and suddenly I completely see a woman walking down the streets of an old west town that's deserted, only she's being chased by an unknown entity and somehow she dives into one of the buildings, lets say the saloon, to hide and a piano starts playing and there's a bartender and men playing cards, smoking, wearing six guns.
BAM she's in that time. Safe from whoever chased her but separated from her life by one hundred years.

Oh, it made that day sooooooo much more fun because now empty streets and buildings, instead of being boring, are spooky.

Love that ah-ha moment when an idea comes to you.

No, I've never written it and probably never will. Time travel and Christian fiction are a bit incompatible. But I'd love to try it. Give the woman modern ideas, clothing and language and have her meet up with an old west sheriff with his dialogue and Stetson.

Mary Connealy said...

Crystal, seriously, I think being afraid of being run over by elephants is just common sense. You can't count that as a phobia. Unless I suppose you spend a lot of time worrying about it, while you sit on your couch eating popcorn. That might rise to the level of paranoia I s'pose.

Pam Hillman said...

The idea for one of my historicals came from reading a contemporary ABA book years ago.

In the other book, someone robs a bank. On the verge of being caught, the robbers throw the money into a college student on a broken-shoestring budget’s old clunker of a car.

When the student finds the money later that day, she knows it’s the stolen money, but decides to keep it. The book picks up 20 years later when she and her partner have a successful business they started with the dough.

I kept thinking that no matter how dire a Christian’s circumstances, a Christian would have been morally obligated to return the money. So, I started playing “What if?”

As I brainstormed, I decided to flip the idea and make it a historical to limit my heroine’s options even more.

The result?

Marrying Mariah, multi-winning contest ms, including winning the Golden Heart, and some near misses with editors. And we haven’t given up hope that it will sell someday!

When Slade Donovan comes to Wisdom, Wyoming with proof that the only home Mariah Malone has ever known belongs to his family, she doesn’t want the townspeople to find out that her father was a liar and a thief. But all is not as it seems. Slade’s own father wasn’t exactly truthful about what went on twenty years ago. Can these two learn to forgive and forget, leading to a wedding and Slade marrying Mariah?

So, there you have it!

Mary Connealy said...

YAY! Pam actually gave some details. How about the rest of you. Anything specific. What actually triggered a book for you.

Since most of my books have life and death struggles and gunfire, most of that is NOT from my real life.

The idea for a scene in Petticoat Ranch came to me when my husband, who grew up with seven brothers, and now we have four daughters, one time my daughter was talking, talking, talking to her sisters about these control top panty hose she'd found and how great they feel in every possible way.

We're all in the living room sort of watching TV and my husband is mostly ignoring the chatter.
My daughter stands up from her chair and runs her hand over her backside and says to her sisters, "Feel this."
At which point my husband just erupts, "Stop it!"

Then he's glaring at all of us girls and he said, "This is a conversation we NEVER HAD at my house growing up."

Pam Hillman said...

And Julie....

I refuse to believe that you needed Donald Maass to teach you to increase drama in your books.

SWAK!

Pam Hillman said...

I can't remember which book...I think it was my amnesia story (we all have one, don't we?) where I got the idea listening to a sermon.

Raise your hand if you've grabbed pen and a tithes envelope and scribbled an idea down in the middle of church.

You KNOW it's true. No need to deny it.

Pam Hillman said...

The bomb smashed JoAnne through the hotel window.
Six floors up.

And long years ago, I judged that scene. Didn't know it was Mary, but I can STILL see the whole thing in my mind's eye.

Pam Hillman said...

Mary, I did the same thing with the time-travel in Charleston, SC.

What if a woman ducked into one of the buildings, then came out to Charleston 150 years ago?

Never actually wrote the story, but it was fun brainstorming!

Jeannie Campbell said...

i get my ideas from life, too. it helps that i encounter a lot of deviant life in my job as a therapist. people wouldn't come see me if they thought they could end up as fodder for a good story. ha! great post!

looking forward to "playing" tomorrow!

Mary Connealy said...

Pammy honey, how ironic that you can't remember your amnesia book. ???

Jeannie I've already had a firm talk with the Seekers and you will be safe here tomorrow.

I hope.

Mary Connealy said...

That bomb story was one I called my Alpha Female, Beta Male book.

A soft-hearted veterinarian rescues a woman and finds himself right in the kill zone between a tough-as-nails lady cop and an assassin.

I love that book. Can't find a publisher who agrees so far. :(

Tina Pinson said...

Tina, I have files with little snippets myself, my hubby says I should dispose of some, but they may come in handy later on.

One way I write is I sit down and dream a story from beginning to end, and I write it and continue to dream it.

One story was a female Indiana Jones. One was off Mother Goose, only the woman is a GI Jane type.

Things pop in and out of this brain with such clarity at times
I can't explain or don't want to try.

I finished one story about time travel then decided it needed to be different so I'm in the process of rewriting it with a whole new angle.

Why? Golly I don't know, ask my brain, my imagination. Ask God he gave it to me...

Ruth Logan Herne said...

I've missed you guys!!!!

Life intervened and there were too many blessed little children (one of whom is now in the kitchen with me FOREVER because she snuck to the front porch swing all alone...

Three-year-olds. Sheesh.)

A new puppy from Minnesota that flew into Buffalo's airport at 10:00 Wednesday night.

And we live outside Rochester. Yawn.

Work.

Bakery.

More work.

And then we have to start baking at the bakery for Mother's Day.

Prep. Freezer stuff. Stock-piling.

But now I'm here and I've read the contest update, picked out several (Thank you, Tina!!!!) and checked into the weekend update, so proud of our Seekers and their continuing adventures.

I read about Mary and Gina's constant uniformity and peace with their lateral universes...

I think they might be the same person with different photos. Really. You can get ALL KINDS of photos on the Internet. Has ANYONE seen them in the same place, at the same time????

Nope.

I'm tellin' ya'.

Same person.

Now, Mary, I loved this post. How fun to look at the things that inspire such fun books. And don't you love how an idea builds? And builds? And BUILDS?????

For me that's usually on writing #4.

Or 5.

And the story of your friend? Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could erase their free will foolishness for a day and assign them a mate???

What is it with people?

Story fodder!

Ruthy

Did I miss food? Because I'm hungry and feeling a baking session about to erupt. Requests?

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Pam, I'm Catholic.

What's a tithes envelope?

Ruth Logan Herne said...

And Mary, Marcher Lord Press, the brainstorm and baby of awesome editor Jeff Gerke, would LOVE to see your Time Travel Christian Romance.

So, frankly, would I!

Tina Pinson said...

Actually Pam,


The tithe envelope, (The one they put out for the regulars to put their money into, Ruthy. They used to give you a booklet of them which you were supposed to fill throughout the year)

Anywhoo the envelope along with the back of the sermon note and bulletin didn't give me enough room so I started carrying a spiral notebook and writing in it.

People thought I was so spiritual and into the sermon don't you know.

My time travel starts in the future and goes back. Because they hid her in the past to protect her.

Then it jumps back even more because the bad guys are on a mission to change their future by disrupting the past, and the main thing they're trying to do is get rid of Christ.

And, pray for my poor mind, I am trying to write this puppy.

Melanie Dickerson said...

Hey, Mary! Fun post.
Most of the time, I don't remember where my original idea came from. That's definitely the case with the book I just finished. I had a sliver of an idea, really just a scene, and it just developed from there. My plots evolve over time and I get ideas from different things, but then they change so much that I hardly ever remember where the idea came from.

With my first medieval, The Woodcutter's Daughter, I "saw" this girl and an older woman, and the girl was very insecure and the woman was letting her know how special she really was, even though she was a "nobody" in the eyes of the people who knew her. Then watching all the princess and fairy tale movies with my little girls inspired the rest.

My second medieval is inspired by the Beauty and the Beast fairy tale. But basically, I just wait for scenes to pop into my head and go from there.

Mary Connealy said...

Tina do you really think people think you're spiritual while you're taking notes in church? I always figure then KNOW I'm brainstorming a book. (Yep, I do it too...not ALL the time)
But often it's something the pastor says, some scripture he's chose, that is the jumping off spot so it's kinda like worship.

Mary Connealy said...

Melanie, the very first book I ever wrote I called Sleeping Beauty. It's never seen the light of day and I know it's not well written but I LOVE the story I told. I just need to tell it better.

Mary Connealy said...

The only trouble with selling my time travel book is, I'd need to write it. And I'm really busy writing the books I've already sold so I'd better do them first.

Gina Welborn said...

Since the real Mary already spoke, fake Mary will share.

Sometimes I get an idea from a weird dream I had. Or a tv show. Like a couple weeks ago when my daughter was watching LIE TO ME. At the end, the female lead was talking to the male lead about the adoptive child she had to give back to the natural parent. Or maybe it was a foster child. Anyhooo...

The female lead said to the male, "Wherever I go, whenever I see a child, I see her."

A slew of what-if stories emerged.

Lately I've been thinking of high concept.

How many different movies have been made with the Dirty Dozen plot?

Bugs. Ocean's Eleven.

So you take the basic plot and put it in a unique setting.

My oldest son said the movies Cars and Surf's Up are the same exact plot. One's with cars, the other's with penguins. Yet both made good money at the box office.

What bothers me, though, is books with no plot. Lead character merely reacting to live around them. And I'm thinking of one ACFW BOTY I read last month. Grrr.

Pretty cover, though.

Not a Seeker book...in case anyone was wondering.

Gina Welborn said...

Oh, since Mary mentioned explosions...

Last week I was working on a 3-book series proposal for Heartsong. After several high concept options, I settled on my favorite. Then during one of the blog posts last week, Mary mentioned starting your story with an explosion, although it doesn't have to be a physical one.

So I had no idea to begin book 1.

My head kept reminding me, "Mary says start with an explosion. What can you blow up?"

I found something. :-)

Sheila Deeth said...

All these great ideas. Enjoyed the post and comments, and what-iffing as I read.

Tina Pinson said...

Mary,

Of course they think I'm spiritual, I have on my prim lemon sucking smile and I nod in rhythm with the pastor to give others the idea that I'm actually following the sermon. :0)

I can't always lay claim to the scripture leading me to worship.

A song perhaps...

In all honesty, I don't do it as much as I used to. Now, I do it at work.

Good thing My hubby and I own our own business.

Mary Connealy said...

That's the spirit, Gina.
Folks if you're not finding anything to blow up, you're just not trying hard enough.

Get in there with that dynamite.

(I'm wondering if that could be the beginning of a very disturbing motivational speech?)

Mary Connealy said...

Tina, just make sure and hide the notes, especially if you're jotting down, "Who shall I blow up" ideas.

Mary Connealy said...

Back up minute.

Ruthy? Did you just say you FLEW a puppy from somewhere to you?

Like on an airplane?

This dog had better be seriously cute.

And he'd better dust and do the laundry and wash dishes...and help you decorate Mother's Day cakes, too.

Mary Connealy said...

Make sure and get him a really all encompassing hair net before you hand over the tube of frosting.

No licking, neither. Not the cake, not himself.

Gina Welborn said...

Mary, your motivational speech for the stumped-stalled-brain-chilled writer would consist of two points.

When in doubt, blow something up.

If still in doubt, bring in the dead body.

Mary Connealy said...

Gina, you're limiting yourself.

You can also shoot someone. Don't forget that.

Tina Pinson said...

Gina, Mary,

Let us not forget... Poison.


I had my accupunturist give me a funny look the day I asked her if you could numb someone with the placement of the right needle too.

Mary Connealy said...

I think poison is way too passive, Tina.

But whatever. It's your book.

Jeannie Campbell said...

i'm putting in a request for NO fruitcake tomorrow for refreshments. i see enough of them during the week.
thanks!

mary, i'm counting on you to keep me safe from all harassment....that INCLUDES in-house...

Debra Ullrick said...

Waaaaa. Sniff sniff. Boo hoo. I can't think of any "what if" questions to ask? So what do you say to that, Mary? Huh? Huh? C'com...HELP! S.O.S. Smoke signals coming you way.

Actually, I'm working on a novella, and I'm struggling with whether or not Barbour will let me use it. My heroine isn't saved and won't be for a bit. I've tried finding another scenario, but this one seems to work best. sigh.

I love your stories, Mary. And now I know where you get your crazy ideas. The truth's out now, girlfriend. hehee

Dear blogger. Debra is not signing her name to this post. So don't tell Mary who this is, please.

Mary Connealy said...

C'mon, Jeannie, you'll be BEGGING me for harrassment by noon.

Jeannie is guest blogging here tomorrow.

Mary Connealy said...

Oops, I think Blogger didn't get your email, Debra. :)

lynnrush said...

Great post. Yeah, that's an interesting question. I often have a difficult time answering other than God. Cuz humanly, I have NO clue how I think up these ideas of mine. LOL.

I love hearing other people's answers though. It's interesting.

Of the seven novels I've penned, I've woken up after a dream with the ideas. But the other ones, yeah, no clue, just popped into my puny little brain. :-)

Debra Ullrick said...

Drat. Dirty birds anyway. Tattletale Mr. Blogger. Sheesh.

Okay, Mary, what if questions do you ask?

Julie Lessman said...

Awwww, Pammy, thank you SO much, sweetie for the compliment ... unless you are calling me a drama queen, that is ... :)

And Jeannie is posting tomorrow??? Oh, I won't miss that for sure!!

Hugs,
Julie

Pepper Basham said...

Thanks for the post, Mary. I completely agree with the 'what if' mentality and the amazing thoughts that kind of pop into one's head out of nowhere - or as Christians I suppose we could say they do come from somewhere (or rather SomeOne) ;-)

Audra Harders said...

Blowing things up? Mary, I thought you had a thing for shooting people, LOL!!

Country music brings out the cowboy love in me. Especially Chris LeDoux. Oh Lord, why did You take that man from us at such an early age??? All of my cowboy books are a medleys of Chris LeDoux songs.

My gypsy books are medleys of 70's and 80's hits...

My Russian suspense? Hmm, I have to confess, lots of A&E and the History Channel...

I'm telling ya, a writer's mind is a spooky place. I'm lucky my husband reeeeallly loves me. I'll be thinking about a plot and just start talking in the middle of my thoughts.

Sweet guy, he just nods and agrees with me...

Thanks Mary. Fun post!

Ann said...

I can't get in there with dynamite, it wasn't invented yet.

Black powder, though, has possibilities.

Here's a specific moment: DH lost part of a load of hay on the road once and some fellows stopped to help him pick up the pieces.

They asked if he were a Christian.

Come to find out they were a group of ex-Amish Gospel quartet singers.

Not only did they help him reload the truck but they gave him a free CD.

From that came a character in one of my many rejected contemporary romances.

Mary Connealy said...

Okay, Mary, what if questions do you ask?

Uh....I don't understand this question, Debra.

Hmmm...what if Debra is being held hostage? What if She's not making sense on purpose? What if she's crying out for help?

Nah, I'm sure she's fine.

Although, I had a really REALLY cool idea for a murder mystery during a chat one time.

What if all the sudden one of the chatters typed some terrorized message and then the next chat message is a creepy threat to the rest of the group.

Then the next chat, another one of the three friends dies. In comes the handsome FBI agent to get to the truth and stop the killer.

You're all welcome to steal these. I'll be NONE of you see them as romantic comedies, but you KNOW mine will end up as one.

Mary Connealy said...

PEPPER!!!!!!!!! HI!
Thanks for leaving a comment.

the thing is, Pepper, I think God might want to disavow most of the madness my head comes up with.

He's probably whispering with his still small voice, "Spend time in prayer, my child. PLEASE!"

Mary Connealy said...

Audra, you've got to mix it up. If you blow one guy up, I advice shooting the next one.

ALthough I try not to be predicatable. Sometimes I shoot three in a row then KABOOM!

Keeps the reader from getting stale.

Mary Connealy said...

Ann said:
Come to find out they were a group of ex-Amish Gospel quartet singers.

I love this. How unique and funny. I'm trying to figure out how to work Amish into my westerns.


Here's a question, if you were Amish in historical times, where you modern? Or did they refuse to use the wheel and the lever, and a quill and ink. Did they chisel stuff on stone?

How could you tell them from the other people. At what point did the start refusing to progress?

Ruthy, you take that one, you're writing an Amish romance right now aren't you????

Jessica said...

I have no clue. They're just there, waiting for me.

Great post! Each of your books sound so wonderful. :-)

Missy Tippens said...

Great post, Mary! I often get my ideas from tv programs (like 60 Minutes or 20/20 or Oprah) and news. I also get them from watching people.

Crystal, I'm still cracking up about your fear of being trampled by elephants! But like Mary said, that's not a phobia. That's smart. :)

Raynene said...

In reading through essentially my first blog that I could actually follow and understand, I congratulated myself! I agree with the premise that "what-iffing" should be a verb. That said, it follows, doesn't it that another verb should be "then whating"? I get my ideas from life, too. My carousel story I just finished is from my love of antique carousels, titled, "Merry's Go Round." Thanks for the inspiration, y'all!

Siren said...

So glad i found a blog about writing!! I am actually trying to push one of my many "ideas of a lifetime" through to a finalized book and maybe publish it this time :)

I get my ideas from everywhere and everything. I think that is the mark of creativity. Conversations, workplace, home life, movies, other books, domesticity, just being in the world sparks ideas. I also think that people drive ideas because from people you get character bases, and once you have solid ideas for characters, you start thinking about things that would happen to them . . . . or stories you would like to write for them

Nade said...

Sounds great! Please put my name in.
Sylvia gould
nade@gorge.net