I think of January as a time of new beginnings and when I start a new project I like to brainstorm as many ideas as I can. Some of the things I try are: mind mapping, doodling, running what if scenarios, listing random ideas, reading the newspaper, researching a place or thing, and playing with plotting generators.
My goal is to bring together enough random ideas that go together, or don’t, and break them down to see how they may fit.
If I’m are unhappy with the results I’ll change location to a: coffee shop, play ground, riverbank, bench on a busy street, pub or library. It doesn’t really matter.
The trick is to breakthrough the usual barriers and find a new place where fresh ideas ignite the creator in me. I’ll list several inciting incidents, possible twists, and unexpected/unavoidable outcomes.
Once the links are made, I aim at an audience. Knowing who you are writing for makes it easier for the publisher/agent to sell your project.
Brainstorming doesn’t stop when my writing begins. It continues throughout the whole process. If I’m hit by a new idea as I work, I take a look. No doubt something inspired me.
I’m not saying go off track, but be aware. Our brains are wonderful things and whether we are aware or not they will take us where we need to go.
What do you do to bring ideas to your writing?
This post was written for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group where we share our encouragement or insecurities on the first Wednesday of the month, to join the group or find out more click here.
I recently saw a call for submission for a contemporary romance (click here for the call) and had the brilliant idea of giving it a try. The only romance I’ve written to-date was a sprinkling that was more of a subplot. Whoa what a difference it is to make romance the main plot of a story. Pushing my usual ideas to the background felt odd and awkward. I carried on though, thinking it would feel more comfortable after an edit or two.
The beginning was not really romantic. My main character assumed she was being asked out on a date and was really being asked to babysit so he could go out with someone else. I know this is an old trope, but I added a twist later on. The female MC’s assumption broke her heart but she doesn’t speak up until her counterpart needs her help. Then she took her venom and ripped the male MC to bits; or at least, she tried to. He was still focused on his prize and didn’t understand why she was upset.
I liked the conflict and romantic friction between my two main characters and was having quite a bit of fun writing about their antics.
But I made a big mistake. I questioned my muse.
Now I’m wondering if the people that read romance prefer the fantasy of female/male misunderstandings, and silence in the face of sharing deep feelings, to the real world romance. I don’t know. I’m not sure. It doesn’t help that I’ve only had a few romances in my life and they were… less that spectacular.
What I mean is they were not Cinderellaish or Pretty in Pinkish or Bridget Jones Diaryish, or whatever the latest is ish.
So I ask readers and writers alike: What drives us to read romance? Why do we enjoy it? What are we looking for?
I’m going to need some answers or I’m sure to disappoint.