Welcome to our new summer series about how I write. You might learn more than you want to know. You might find something useful. You might just want to join in the fun. All credit for the idea and outline of topics goes to Ansha Kotyk.
You read a book or a great premise and say to yourself – it should be easy to come up with an idea like that.
What not to do:
- Sit at your computer staring at the blank page hour after hour.
- Eat bags of jelly beans hoping the sugar rush will spark an idea.
- Do yoga while listening to classical music to usher in the muse. (Okay that might work for some people.)
- Let discouragement take over because you can’t seem to come up with your next great idea.
- Put pressure on your brain to create.
I’ve tried a couple of those, and trust me, they don’t work.
I’ve come up with ideas several different ways.
- Research a topic of interest and often real stories and events will spark an idea.
- Take two things I love and mash them together.
- I’ve had one dream about a character and a situation but I’m so not ready to write about it. Someday.
- Walk past an amazing, unique setting or situation and immediately think, book idea.
- Take a real event in my life or my children’s life and exaggerate it, twist it around, shake it up, stretch it out, take it dancing – and see what happens.
- My friend says something about her tween daughter and whamo – perfect idea.
- Rebellion against trending subject and plots.
Sometimes, the best thing I can do is take pressure off my brain. Read. Watch movies. Do dishes. Clean my kids’ room. Exercise. Be social. Because even brains needs a vacay.
And now for my dirty little secret. I write middle grade. But it’s really hard for me to find a contemporary middle grade book I absolutely love.
And that’s why on Friday, I’m giving away some middle grade books that I absolutely enjoyed reading. Two book packages. With two great authors. Stay tuned.
Check out how my crit partners get their ideas. Fabulous crit partner Ansha. Fabulous crit partner Kris. And fabulous crit partner Jen.
Helpful posts on generating ideas here and here and here.
How do you get your ideas? Share!