While thinking about what to inspire me today I stumbled across a comment in a writing book by Meredith andFitzgerald that brought to mind my latest WIP. "All traditional novels begin with an idea that inspires the author to write it."
Ideas so often come before the characters or the plot, at least for me. These ideas aren't very specific and definitely not earth-shattering. I have to look at the ideas and examine them. Sometimes they come in the form of what it. What if there were stones or gems the color of the flames in a fire? Here was the triggering offer for The Temple of Fyre.
Other ideas have come from something read in a book and are mulled around for a long time with a bit added here and there until the story is ready to write. The heroine throws the murder weapon in the Hudson River. This idea rolled around in my head for a long time with bits and pieces coming into view. A house with apartments emerged. Suddenly I knew the owner lived on the second floor, not the ground floor. I had to explore why this happened. Then an incident occurred involving a neighbor and suddenly I was off and running.
Do you begin your stories with ideas. Can you express this idea in a single line. A line that sends your imagination off and running. That's happening to me now.
A man and woman suddenly through a tragedy become joint guardians to an infant. That's the idea and now I must be off to write a story that will be my story. This idea has occurred to me before but in a different form where only the man inherits a pair of babies. So this story will have its differences. I'm off to find those differences and write the story. Now I'll delve into the Who, What, When, Why, Where and the How of this story. To reach this point I needed that rather general idea.