I don’t know if anyone is curious about it or not, but I often wonder myself about how I come up with ideas for stories. It’s difficult to remember what one thing might have triggered an idea or theme. Was it reading something else? Watching something on TV? Hearing a song? Yes. All of that. And still more.
I mentioned last week how I’ve been working on something that will never be published – and I haven’t changed my mind! – but the idea for that came from something very personal. I won’t tell you about that either! All I’m trying to say is that for that particular story, I am very heavily drawing on my own life and thoughts and desires. That doesn’t happen often. I don’t make every story so personal. One, because that’s just not how I work. Two, because I don’t want to give so much of myself away. 😉 That’s not to say I don’t put a personal touch on every character and story that I write otherwise. There are personality traits that I give to every heroine that are my own quirks. You might be able to guess some of them and added together, you’d have a good idea of what I’m like, but then again…you don’t know me so you’d never be able to guess!
So back to my main point: where do the ideas come from?All over and everywhere, really. I already wrote above that I can’t even pinpoint where an idea comes from.
My published novels, “Agent Alpha” and “Undercover”, are part of a series of stories that I started writing on a whim. I wanted to write something adventurous and romantic but in a setting I was familiar with. That was the first thing. Then I wanted to create flawed characters, not just emotionally but physically. I was so tired of reading about this god-like man falling for this stunning woman that I wanted to write about ‘real’ people with imperfect features. That came next. Finally, I wanted to see if I could even write a story like them. Something with suspense, action and a mystery with misdirections and red herrings. I think I did all right with that and I can’t wait to get through the next two books – they’re written but need extensive editing, which you know I love so much – and then I can get back to writing something new in that universe.
For that series, it wasn’t so much an idea striking me, but it was more of an exercise to see if I could write all those things together like I wanted.
Since I know most of you are big fans of my “Ice” series, I wonder if you’re curious how that all started. 🙂 It’s pretty simple really, and a little embarrassing now to think back on it. I was watching the NHL playoffs in 2009 and became slightly infatuated with a certain star player. I loved watching him and his team win games and make it all the way to the final and I couldn’t help myself. I had to write about it.
Out came “The Ice, The Game, The Touch.” I loved writing that one, however unrealistic and farfetched it might have been, and maybe that’s why it was so well-received. Of course, I couldn’t stop at one. Two stories followed in that particular ‘series’ and after that… Well, the whole series kind of took on a life of it’s own. But there you have it. It all started because I needed an outlet to get over my weird little crush. Oh, I still enjoy watching that star player play, but I don’t have the same obsession as I did that first summer.
For the stories that followed in the “Ice” series, most of the ideas start with just choosing a player to focus on. There are a lot of big personalities out there and it makes it easy to form a plausible story around them. So I pick a player and then I have to come up with a woman to complement him. Then the way they meet, fall in love, etc, etc.
I find as I think about this more, my ideas start very small. I do as I’ve described above. I create a couple characters and just start writing. Then somewhere in the first few pages, I realize where I want to take them. It sounds strange maybe but it’s what happens. Or sometimes I’ll have an idea for an ending, nothing more. Somehow, I have to write everything else to get me to that point. One example of that is the fourth of my TAITS series, which has yet to be published, obviously. I had the ending written for that before I’d even finished writing “Undercover.” Even by the time I got to the end of the fourth book, very little changed about the ending I’d originally written.
So there you have it. Such a great secret, isn’t it? 😉 It’s not glamorous or exciting but it’s what happens before I post stories for you to read, so hopefully it made you smile. And that’s all for now. I’m pretty beat today – I played in a softball tournament yesterday and today, my body hates me. 😀 I hope everyone is enjoying their Sundays and looking forward to the start of the hockey season like I am! Less than a month now!!
Take care and happy reading.