Too Many Ideas

1 Sep

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.


4 Responses to “Too Many Ideas”

  1. teeceecounsel September 1, 2012 at 9:13 pm #

    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. P. C. Zick September 4, 2012 at 12:20 pm #

    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.

    • headywriting19 September 4, 2012 at 1:17 pm #

      Let me know how you like the Pablo Neruda book. I love his poetry, and even attempt to read it in Spanish.

      • P. C. Zick September 4, 2012 at 1:28 pm #

        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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