Wednesday, November 13, 2013

How My Story Ideas Develop

A fantastic blog by Dahlia Adler started my mind whirling! 
So to start things off, go read her post:


Wasn't that great? If you didn't bookmark the page, do so. All of those items have been said before, but these reminders to focus us. Keep them around as those steps will come in handy. I started to respond at her site and realized it might be fun to post it here instead as it really covers my writing process. Dahlia graciously let me restate her points for reference, so here they are:

  1. Write What You Know
  2. Write What You Don't Know
  3. Retell, Reimagine, Reinvent
  4. Blow Up Something Small
  5. Read Outside Your Category and Genre
Let's look at how those came into play for me.

I have a background in religious studies so I know carrying stories of possession. (pt 1) However since I've never been possessed....errr...ummm...that I know, (pt 2) I set about researching it. During that research I happened across stories of prophets and realized that in their moments of prophesying they were, in essence possessed.

This got my mind to thinking perhaps being possessed doesn't always have to be a bad thing. I mean, these guys weren't evil and clearly they were inhabited by a spirit outside their own. So I pushed that idea to a logical extreme. (pt 4) What if someone faced possession to accomplish something good? What if that person were a college student in a modern setting? (pt 3)

Of course since he is in college, doing the things that college guys do, the likelihood is that he will be attracted to someone. I fell in love during college, didn't you? Now, we have a guy, in college, possessed, not totally in control of himself...falling in love. Certain things are expected in a love story and I wanted to hit at least some of them, but I'd cut my teeth on Fantasy, Sci-fi and Horror so I started reading Romance to get a feel for how things flow and happen. (pt 5) I didn't take a cookie cutter template by any means, but expanding my reading base was very helpful.

The end result? Escape Publishing wanted my Romantic Fantasy! As I consider my writing process honestly, I can see that in nearly every case this stew of steps are what make tatty bit of writing for me.

What's your process? Do you use other 'ingredients'?