Too Many Ideas

Writers are often asked, “Where do you get your ideas?”

I believe most writers would answer the same as I do — it’s not a matter of coming up with ideas, it’s a matter of weeding out the ideas and deciding which ones I really want to develop in a short story, a novel, or maybe even a series.

My first two novels both center around the main character Nara Blake, who is loosely based on the daughter-in-law of a friend of mine. Once I had the character, I took her from a Caribbean island to England, and after solving the mystery of a ring of art thieves in The Gate House, she moved on to discovering her great-grandmother’s secrets in Lydia’s Story.

Along the way, I have considered writing a mystery series set in Monteverde, Costa Rica. I am still toying around with something historical, and maybe involving magic, centering around the treasure King John supposedly lost in the Wash on the coast of England. Since I am a teacher, I have come up with many unused plots involving teachers. And after talking with a friend who is starting a business staging houses for sale, I think that might make a good base for a story. And then there are my mother’s letters from World War II. I would like to do something with those.

I am not the kind of writer who can sit down and write for eight hours every day. I am too restless. I need breaks. So most of my ideas will never be more than ideas. But it’s great to have this mine of inspiration. When it’s time to start something new, I just need to pull out one of the plots or characters and start developing a story.

What kinds of stories do you prefer to read? Something close to home? In a different geographical or historical setting? Do you choose a book for the plot or the characters?

Whatever the reader’s choice, at some time a writer has dreamed up an idea, and carried it through.


Published by headywriting19

I am a writer, editor and promoter of all things relating to reading, literacy and self-expression through the written word. I love to travel and study languages. Besides English, I speak Spanish and can "get by" in French and Italian. I like to cook, hike and keep my two cats happy.

4 thoughts on “Too Many Ideas

  1. I sure agree with you! Ideas are so numerous that choosing the one to start becomes a challenge. On some occasions, there are variations that take our attentions too. Even when there’s nothing to right, there’s something to right. Smiles! Or atleast, think! Thanks for sharing!

  2. I have such eclectic tastes in my reading and in my writing. I like to experiment in my writing. I agree that the biggest problem is settling down to one idea. I have that problem with so many things I want to accomplish with my blog, novels, etc. I just finished an autobiography by Patti Smith. Before that I read a novel set in the contemporary South. Last night I started reading “My Life with Pablo Neruda.” I have no idea what I’ll read next, just as I’m not sure where my writing day will take me. I’m never bored that’s for sure.

      1. I’m impressed – I’ve only read translations but I did visit their home in Santiago two years ago. We might be going back there by the end of the year – keeping fingers crossed.

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