Where Do Writer’s Get Such Great Ideas?
by Melissa Alvarez
What If – The first question an author will usually ask him/her self before beginning a novel is “what if”. What if an astronaut got caught in a black hole and was transported to another galaxy and met the love of his life? What if a woman moved back to her hometown after a devastating marriage to find that her one true love still lived there and was single? The ‘what if’ can provide the plot of your novel, your characters and their actions. Fear is also part of the ‘what if’ thought – what if the rope breaks while I’m rock climbing. What if those people walking behind me are dangerous? What if I miss my bus and am late for my interview? Think of the things that scare you or worry you – now through your characters in the midst of that scene and run with it.
Fairy Tales – How many different ways has Cinderella been redone? I can count a few. Oh, and Pinocchio…that’s another good one. Or how about Snow White? In every fairy tale there is a story spark that can be spun to work in relation to a modern day romance.
Romance Themes – Pick a theme and go with it – how about amnesia? Man finds woman washed up on the beach, half dead, and provides for her while she recovers. But she can’t remember a thing about herself and one day a limousine shows up at the hero’s door to take her away. He refuses to let he go because he’s fallen in love with her but the limo driver knocks him out and kidnaps the woman. The hero searches for the heroine until he rescues her from the villains. See how easy that is?
You must be asking yourself – how can I come up with a great idea for a book? Try this. Sit down and write a list of what ifs. That will give you a story spark. Now think of places you’ve lived or visited or would like to visit. There’s your setting. Now, places you’ve worked – could they be the hero or heroines job? Your fears could get your hero or heroine into some real trouble and their bravery, courage, trust in each other and other values can get them out of trouble.
Just remember the first thing a writer always does is ask “What if?” and then they run with the idea. If you get stuck in the middle of your novel add in another one and smile as the words come to you.