Wow, can you believe we are already fourteen days into Speedbo? Time flies when you’re busy writing, plotting, or revising like mad. I’m plugging away on a Christmas novella.
I want to take a quick moment to thank Tina for inviting me to be a guest blogger this month. While attempting to come up with a topic that would (hopefully) be of some value to everyone, I mentioned to my sister I would be back on Seekerville as a guest blogger and that my article had to be on craft. DISCLAIMER: Sis has given me permission to post this publically. About the third time I mentioned craft, she looked at me and asked, “Why did you agree to do that? You know you aren’t crafty.” Sorry, but it made me laugh and she is so right. If Tina had wanted me to talk about a hobby craft, I would have had to decline.
Since my plan for Speedbo is to write a novella, I knew I had to come up with an idea for subject novella. Bingo, my topic for Seekerville popped into my mind. Where Do Story Ideas Come From?
There is the tried and true “What if?” You see a picture, catch a snippet of a conversation, or read a new story and think what if such and such happened. I think this is one of the most common ways writers come up with story ideas. I know I’ve used that approach. In a romantic suspense manuscript I recently finished, I came up with the idea while at the hair salon. Now the salon seems like the logical place to overhear some juicy conversations, but my idea came from a totally different direction. I looked at my nice, always in a good mood stylist, and thought what if he went off the deep end and decided to give someone their final cut. You know, as in kill them.
In another instance I had the first line of a story pop into my head. The villain whispered in my ear, “Do you know where your daughter is, Mrs. Bradley?” Of course once he asked the question, I had to find the answer. At the time I didn’t even know who Mrs. Bradley was, but I did know her daughter had been kidnapped.
While brainstorming my Christmas novella, Mistletoe Magic, published last November, available on Amazon (shameless self-promotion) I knew there were certain things that had to happen. Originally the idea was a collaborative effort for a novella collection. A Mistletoe Festival was a must. This was my first time brainstorming an entire story idea with a group of authors. I loved it. While it felt like the overall idea for the story just popped into my head, I know my creative mind was set in motion by all the discussion between the four of us. Still, there were certain parts of the story idea that had to be developed on my own. My heroine is a librarian and she had to have a major role in the festival. How could I make that unique? Librarian, books, reading. She would have a reading room at the festival. Now what would make kids want to read at a festival? Rudolph! So her part of the festival became Rudolph’s Reading Room.
The idea for my current novella was much harder to conceive. I asked plenty of what ifs and none of them worked. The story is a romantic comedy, so there was no devious villain to whisper opening lines into my ear, and my hair dresser gave me a great new style, but nothing about him sparked an idea for my Christmas story. Finally my heroine, Molly, stopped by for a visit. She is a church secretary, hopelessly in love with the pastor, and she wears cowboy boots all the time. The matriarchs of Winslow, Oklahoma have her convinced she will never be a suitable wife for the pastor.
Now that may not be an entire story, and I apologize to all the plotters who are shuddering, but it was enough to get my mind going in the right direction, to make a commitment to write that novella during Speedbo.
So how about you, how did you come up with your current story idea? I’d love to hear your ideas. Leave a comment for a chance to win a ten dollar Starbucks gift card. After all, during Speedbo we all need as much caffeine as possible!
About Terri: Terri Weldon's debut Christmas Novella, Mistletoe Magic, released last November from White Rose Publishing, an imprint of Pelican Book Group.
She claims her regular life is really pretty mundane, but refrains from saying dull! Terri enjoys gardening, reading, playing in the hand bell choir, and shopping for shoes (a habit she really needs to break). She has three dogs – a lovable mutt and two adorable Westies. She volunteers as the librarian at her church – she actually gets to shop for books and spend someone else’s money. Plus, she is privileged to introduce people to Christian fiction.
Terri is a member of ACFW and RWA. Stop by and visit her at www.terriweldon.com
About Mistletoe Magic: Mistletoe Joy (Misty) Winslow is determined to find her prince charming. She meets the man of her dreams through an internet dating service. Or is he? Because the new dentist in town sets her heart aflutter.
It’s love at first sight for Tyler Davenport, but before he can finish his first root canal, Misty is involved in an exclusive online romance with Wes99. Tyler begins to get jealous of Wes99, his online persona! Soon he’s pulling out all the stops to woo Misty.
As Christmas approaches Wes99 and Tyler both ask her to meet them under the Mistletoe. Which man will she choose?
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