“Where do your ideas come from?” I hear this question a lot, and it’s a hard one to answer. Where DO my ideas for stories come from? Today I’m going to give the question a little brain time.
Sometimes it’s a matter of a story growing out of someone I see in my daily life. A person in a time and place can trigger the question “What if?”
For instance, on a trip to the grocery store, I see a woman dressed in a fancy bridesmaid dress, complete with bouquet, standing anxiously in the cashier line. Is she in a hurry to get to the wedding, and needed an emergency run to the store for pantyhose, or Tylenol? But what if she just ran FROM the wedding? Hmmm. A character is born.
Or I see a teenager who has parked his bike in the park, scrambling furiously under a bench, fingers combing the grass and dirt. Then he rips apart his backpack, tossing stuff into the air. What is he looking for? Is it just a missing key to his house, or is he missing the priceless antique ring for his sister’s wedding that disappeared on his way home? A plot is born.
Looking out over the quiet desert on a trip west, I see a solitary woman across the flat vista, wandering though the sparse desert growth, filling a basket. A setting is born.
The initial ideas can come at any time, in any place.
But when do they grow? I know for some writers, taking solid blocks of solitary “thinking time” away from the world. I like that idea, but truth is, it’s not part of my life. My ideas grow when I’m multi tasking.
They grow when I’m sorting socks. I live next door to my daughter and son in law and six active grandkids. They have a lot of socks (Do the math.. 7x8 pair for daily wear, plus socks for soccer, tennis, and baseball.. practically a full time job!) I dive into the basket, finding the pairs, sorting the piles. Not rocket science, but a great family service. My brain goes on overdrive, writing character sketches in my head, organizing time lines, planning outlines.
My ideas grow when I’m weeding the garden, when I’m vacuuming up the cat hair, when I’m stapling papers for school. When my hands are busy, my brain seems to spurt.
Where do your ideas come from? And what does it take to make them grow?
Christine Bush is the award winning author of many books and novellas of sweet romance and light mystery. She also writes Middle Grade Fiction. When she isn’t writing, she can be found working with clients as a Marriage and Family Therapist in private practice, or teaching Psychology at a local college. She lives with her family and two crazy cats in northeastern Pennsylvania, and loves to hear from readers and aspiring writers.
Her latest book “Cindy’s Prince” can be found at Amazon