I read with interest today a blog from Mary Balogh, about where she gets her ideas. It was an interesting read. If you’d like to read it, it’s at www.marybalogh.com.
I thought to myself. . . Where do I get my idea?
That’s a good question and a hard one for me, an aspiring author, to answer. My ideas appear to come from everywhere.
A few examples:
I was inspired to write “The Last Dig” a love story about a paleontologist who finds romance and mystery when a dead body is found at her dig site, while I was watching The Discovery Science Channel about dinosaurs and the dig sites in Eastern Montana. Almost all of the information on the show came from paleontologists. I thought it was so interesting, that I got out a map of Montana and looked at the areas where they were digging and found the town of Jordan, and Hell Creek State Park. I pulled out the pictures that my husband took of the area when we went through there on our way to Helena Montana for our summer vacation a few years ago, and away I went and wrote my manuscript.
Another example is my inspiration to write “Moonlight Path.” In a previous blog you would probably note that I LOVE Lake Michigan. My husband and I drove through all the small towns that line up along the shoreline of the lake. We went to Traverse City, Muskegon, Grand Haven, and Ludington. Every town brought back wonderful memories to me as a child and a young teenager. I took plenty of pictures of Grand Haven. I walked the broad walk and the pier and I watched the motor boats and sailboats as they left the harbor and went out in to the lake. I watched the people, and I drove through the neighborhoods that were hidden on the hill and I went through the downtown area. All of this helped me to create my characters and their personalities.
Sometimes it seems as if my ideas just come to me out of nowhere. I had what I call a power surge and I came up with the idea of a young woman who is a famous recording artist who had a stalker following her when she went on tour. She came back to town in New Mexico and rekindled a relationship with her former lover and band leader. I’ve never been to New Mexico, so a lot of research had to go into this manuscript. My sister just reviewed this particular manuscript, (it’s called ‘Love Songs’) and said that the way the manuscript is written, I could have a spin off with one of the other characters. I thought about that, and viola! I got a draft outline taking one of the characters from this manuscript to create another story.
Another story I created but haven’t finished yet, was based on a mood I was in at the time. I’m waiting for the mood to return, and I’m sure it will return, so I can finish the manuscript. So it’s still a WIP.
So, how about you? Where do you get ideas? Do you have a system in place to help you to be creative and get your juices going or is it spontaneous, as it seems to be for me sometimes. Write and share your thoughts, I’d love to hear from you.