Well, if you’re like most of us writers, it won’t happen overnight. So get that idea out of your head right now. If you’ve never taken on the task, it can be a little overwhelming, especially when you start hearing about HEAs, GMCs, H&H’s, Protags, Antags etc, etc,.
But don’t worry. All you really need to begin is an idea, a pen and a piece of paper. All right, I suppose you can use your computer if you’d like.
The latter are easy. The first not so much. Or sometimes they come too often, too fast and well let’s just say it can be quite overwhelming. Neither situation is a good place to be, but at least if the ideas are bombarding you you can choose one and file the rest away for a rainy day.
But what happens when you have this urge to write, this nagging, gnawing need to write? Document is open and the blank screen is staring you in the face. Waaa-wa-uh it’s like a stare down before pistols fly from their holsters and gun powder chokes the back of your throat. You sigh, and eventually close the blank file.
I don’t typically have the problem of finding ideas for a premise. But when I do, I have several places to turn to for inspiration. One is a little gadget called Writer’s Idea Bank. I don’t use it a bunch, especially since the prompts don’t always make sense. Although, today’s was a gem.
describe a poor boy in a Seattle ghetto with a tender-lipped gypsy.
*What if I set the poor boy in a bustling cattle town set in the mid-1800s?
*What if the boy wasn’t poor, but only looked poor?
*What if he allowed the gypsy to take him home to hide him from some unknown danger?
*What if a Pinkerton detective had been hired to find the missing boy?
I think you can see where this is going.
I also picked up a book on my Kindle called 1001 Writing Prompts to Ignite Your Creative Spark by Heather R. Wallace. Here’s an excerpt from the book.
Putting a help wanted ad in the paper seemed like a good idea at the time.
Kind of Plain Jane, but it’s workable. If you’re wanting to write suspense, think Criminal Minds, then you could do something like . . .
*What if Sarah placed an ad to help out at her dying father’s restaurant?
*What if the respondant was an undercover FBI investigating your cook?
*What if the respondant was the leader of a drug ring hiding from the FBI?
There are all kinds of place you could go here. You could go vampire, historical, cozy romance or even a children’s mystery with a lemonade stand.
Another place I like to look is the Bible.
This is an account from Luke just after the resurrection.
“Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee: ‘The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ Then they remembered his (Jesus) words.
When they (the women) came back from the tomb, they told all these things to the Eleven and to all the others. It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the others with them who told this to the apostles. But they did not believe the women, because their words seemed to them like nonesense.
Who was this Joanna to be named among the Marys? In Mark’s account he names Salome. Here’s a passage from Matthew.
There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.
*What if one of the women stayed behind to tend to these guards?
*What if one of these guards hungered for the truth?
I won’t gone on as my mind is spinning with all kinds of possibilities. But add in some conflict duty vs. convictions, a Hebrew woman and a Roman soldier, and you have the makings of a story.
Next week, I’ll talk about the ‘University Novel’.