Saturday, June 14, 2014

Writing Inspiration

Where do you get your story ideas?

My ideas usually pop out of nowhere. I'll be driving, cleaning, at the gym, or making dinner when I'll get an idea or a feeling for a story. It's totally random. Sometimes I'll get several shiny-new-ideas in a week, and other times I'll go months with no new ideas.

And sometimes I'll get new ideas inspired by something else. The inspiration for THE TREASURE HUNT was a random idea inspired by DOCTOR WHO. This sounds completely strange--my LGBT historical romance being inspired by a British sci-fi show--but it's true. The idea of River Song leaving messages for the Doctor across time and space sparked something for me. (I mean, how cool is that?) Initially, I thought THE TREASURE HUNT was going to involve love letters with some sort of time travel element, but the sci-fi elements eventually fell away, leaving me with a treasure hunt with metal heads set in 1992.

But the inspiration for STRANGE ATTRACTORS came about in a different way. Instead of it popping out of nowhere, I was looking for a new idea. I was out for Mexican food with my husband for our anniversary when I asked him to tell me some interesting science-related topics that I could include in a YA sci-fi. He listed several, like solar flares and and nuclear fallout, but the last idea about someone being able to travel between the multiverse really sparked something for me. I immediately pictured Piper and thought of ways she could travel through universes.

Sometimes these ideas come to me fully-formed and are easy to turn into a story, but other times I really have to think about them. STRANGE ATTRACTORS came together fairly quickly. I almost immediately knew Piper was a teen spy, but her motivation wasn't always the same. THE TREASURE HUNT, on the other hand, took a lot of pondering. I mean, initially it started out as a sci-fi. But when I couldn't think of a way for the characters to send love letters through time, it became a historical romance involving a treasure hunt instead.

What's your craziest story inspiration? Do you involve other people in your brainstorming?


  1. Fun post! I still haven't seen Dr. Who. *hides face* But I love the way it inspired Treasure Hunt!

    I don't know what my craziest story inspiration was...maybe the space opera I currently have on sub, because it was partly inspired by a Nicki Minaj song. ;)

    And I rarely involve others in my brainstorming--at least early on--when I'm revising I like to get lots of feedback, but when I'm drafting if I talk or even think too much about a story I feel like it zaps all the mystery and fun out of writing...and then I I never finish. :)

  2. I honestly don't remember what Hearts was inspired by. I do remember, though, that I'd had ideas for a couple of people who get stranded on a desert island, and I wanted to know their story. I had an idea about a girl who was captured to become a bride for a man on a foreign country. (This happened a lot when America was still a colony, actually.) And then I had an idea for a pirate who finds a cursed map and has to find where it leads to break the curse.

    So, I guess all of those just got mushed together into Hearts/Monsters.

    For the Sekrit WIP I'm working on now, it was inspired by two things:
    1) I was watching Sherlock Holmes (the movie with Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law) and a man on fire leaped through a window. So the first line of my WIP came into my head.
    2) A comment on Tumblr that said something like, "Why do people have pimples? Why can't we grow something useful, like wings?" (Those aren't the exact words, but close enough.) And it got me thinking about people growing wings.

    So there ya are. =)