Where do those story ideas come from?

- by BlogMistress

StealingThunder

Yep, that’s one of the most asked questions authors get. When I was new to this author thing, I used to say from everywhere. Not so anymore. I don’t know if it’s ‘maturity’ or if I’m running out of stories or if I’m just getting too picky. I like to think it’s the last one.

Back in the days when we used to get a Sunday newspaper, big features in The Chicago Tribune Sunday Magazine gave me a couple of ideas for stories. AMBUSHED was born when I read an article about a lawless town in New Mexico. Another article gave me everything I needed to know about working in a carnival for TICKET TO NOWHERE.

I haven’t gotten the Sunday newspaper in many (many) years. Television replaced it. Now televised news magazines have stories that catch my interest, but only if it leads to a character that entices me…a character I can’t forget. Last month, I blogged about my inspiration for the hero of  TOUCH ME IN THE DARK. I actually got interested in the wild mustangs from a tv magazine segment. And then I did some research and discovered the Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary. And then I talked my late husband into a road trip, at which time I met the man who founded the sanctuary. It was only then that the story started spinning in my head.

Character is where it’s at for me. When I started writing for Intrigue, I used to be plot-driven. While I still figure out a pretty complex plot, the story now comes from equally complex characters. Maybe that’s why it has gotten harder for me to come up with ideas. I’m no longer content to take an idea and run with it. I first have to find the character(s) necessary to make me love the story and be excited enough to spend months telling it.

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