Monday, April 19, 2010

Where Do You Get Your Ideas?

Writer John Griffith, writing as Jack London, once said, "You can't wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club."

Non-writers frequently ask writers where we get our ideas. I can only speak for myself, but I get them everywhere. Not a good answer, you say? Okay, I'll elaborate a bit. For one story, I based the heroine on an anecdote my grandmother once mentioned when I was a child. A snatch of conversation overheard in a restaurant or other public place might spark a plot or a secondary character. Newspapers are filled with food for stories and filling in plots, especially for mystery or romantic suspense writers.

An editor's request for a certain type of story inspired my next release, OUT OF THE BLUE, from The Wild Rose Press on June 4th. This editor said she was tired of the same old time travels with a modern heroine or hero traveling back in time. She thought it might be refreshing to have a heroine from the past come forward.

Acting on her general request, my critique and writer friend Sandy Crowley helped me plot the story of Deirdre Dougherty. Deirdre began life in one of my favorite places, Ireland. She's a clairvoyant herbal healer treated with suspicion by her neighbors in a remote village near the seaside cliffs of the Connemara area. When the potato crops fail, villagers don't realize a nationwide blight is the cause and some believe Deirdre put a curse on them. They chase her into the current time. You'll have to read the book to learn more. (My plan is to entice you to buy the book. Is it working?)

Publishing is a rapidly changing industry. By the time I finished OUT OF THE BLUE, the editor who requested this type story had left the line and the line folded. Luckily for me, The Wild Rose Press accepted the novel. But creativity doesn't limit itself to writing. Painting, sewing, baking, sculpting, and gardening are only a few of the creative outlets we need to express ourselves.

Where do you get ideas for your creative side?

1 comment:

Stephanie Suesan Smith, Ph.D. said...

I often get my creative ideas from nature. My dogs, the view outside my window, even those nasty bronze backed cowbirds inspire plots of revenge for stealing my birdseed from the pretty birds.