Prompt: I love brainstorming new ideas for books, stories, etc., and I've been asked-like everyone who writes--where I get my ideas. My response is usually this: dreams, movies, books, previous experiences, games I used to play as a kid, etc. I have very vivid dreams and plan to write several of them into novels.
To respond to this prompt, I want you to choose from a couple of different options:
- Tell us how you brainstorm new ideas: where they come from, whether you outline, use flowcharts, where you brainstorm, and things that help with the process, etc.
- Pick one of the sets of words I've come up with below, and brainstorm a story. You don't have to write the story, just give us an idea of where you'd take it, if you were asked to write it. :-)
Sets of words:
- Pizza, blue (the color), mowing lawns, bank.
- Education, first love, Morocco.
- Green and rolling hills, clouds, dead body.
- Skin rash, post-it note, practical joke. (My hubby came up with this set.)
- Scissors, flag, music, unsure--a state of mind. (Another one from my hubby. :-))
Where I mainly get my ideas are simple: Either books or writing prompts. Usually it’s both. Let me start off by saying that I only began reading romance novels when I was in high school. Before that I had read books like R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps and The Baby-Sitters Club by Ann M. Martin. I also had read some westerns, sci-fi and so much more.
But, when I read my first romance novel, I had been hooked and never read any other genre after that. My first, brand new novel that I ever bought had been a modern (contemporary) story. I read those types of novels for a long time. Until, in my library, I found a Regency Romance novel from Stephanie Laurens called Devil’s Bride, and again my mind had been blown. That is the genre I loved and could not get away from.
So, when I got the idea for my first novel, it was most definitely Regency and that set my fingers on fire in the urge to get it written down and completed. I even sent it out to publishers, but got no response. But, I do digress.
For the most part, I do not plan my novels. Yes, I do have a short list of Character descriptions on the first page to get a feel what they look like, what their personalities are, what foods they may like, etc. But, that is as far as it goes. I just sit down at my chair with a plot idea, a blank computer page and go from there.
I always have an idea how I want my stories to end, but they do not always go the way I plan. In the course of the story, my endings can and do change to fit how it is written and to fit the personality of the characters and their quirks.
So, even with this prompt and those words to choose from, I can start an idea, come up with the plot and it will change within mid-story and then I am back to the drawing board.
Here are the set of words I have chosen for this prompt:
Green and rolling hills, clouds, dead body
The first idea that came to mind after choosing those words was; it would be a great way to start a novel. The set up would be a lovely spring day with people gathered on those rolling hills. There would be about 12 or so there standing around. The irony of the slightly cloudy, wonderful day would be that they were all gathered there for a funeral of a loved one.
That backdrop of warm/ welcoming day against the cold harsh reality of death would set up so many back stories of a small group of people clustered there. There would be relatives, spouses or possibly lovers. There could also be a murder mystery, or perhaps a suicide. That would be a cool plot point there.
I could picture that so easily in my head. The ones who are crying, pretending to cry, or openly happy that person is dead. This is course, is definitely screaming out to be a Regency/romance, which only I could write. And, that is the basic idea I got from this.