In a recent interview, I was asked about my process for creating stories. I wish I had one definitive answer for that question, but I don’t. I sat back and thought about it for a few hours and realized that – that could be an interesting blog post. How do you come up with great storylines?
Let me just say that I don’t ever sit around trying to come up with ideas. If I did that, nothing would ever come out of it. My brain simply isn’t that organized. The stories tend to come when they want to. Ideas pop in and out without any rhythm or understanding. I could be driving in my car, sitting in a restaurant, listening to a friend’s story, taking out the trash, then BOOM, I’ve got something brewing in my mind. I actually got the storyline for my novel from a conversation at FaerieCon. I was talking to a woman about faerie lore and the plot just came to me.
Storylines have also been known to come out of my dating years. I didn’t meet my prince charming until I went through a considerable amount of frogs and really-close-to-but-not-the-right-one-for-me guys. I hated it when I was waiting for my husband to come along, but now I’m grateful for it. So much can come out of those years of your life. It’s rich with ideas if you just think about it. One of the main characters in my novel actually came from a guy I went on one date with. We decided that we were better as friends and are still close. In my novel, Rowan is very emotionally guarded. I can see pieces of my friend in him. If you don’t know who Rowan is then keep checking my ‘excerpts’ tab. He periodically shows up there.
Other times, I get ideas in my head based on something really crazy I did. You know, those moments in your life that make you cringe to think about. I’ve had situations that I wished I’d handled differently. If I could do it all over again I’d be cooler or smarter or sexy. Or, maybe I went over-board and acted like an idiot. I dwell on these moments, replay the situation over and over, and sometimes they turn into stories. I have this great romantic scene in my novel that falls into this category. The scene goes the way I wished it had in my real life.
In closing, I’d say that great storylines can come from anywhere. As an aspiring writer, you really only need to look at yourself for inspiration. Life experiences make the best stories.