I am often asked where I get my ideas. Quite often I don’t exactly know what spawned an idea. It might be a news item or a book I read, or even a photograph, modern or historical. It is sometimes just my take on an old favourite.: Sleeping Beauty, Marriage of Convenience, Rags to Riches. I still have secret baby somewhere in the back of my mind. Often, it is a number of these things melding together.
Most often what I get is an opening scene and a character that pops into my head out of nowhere. I might not even be looking for an idea at the time. Indeed, it might be a distraction from what I am working on. In this case, I simply write a few notes, store them in an ideas file and hope that will be enough to remember it later, as well as stop it from cluttering things up.
Where does that alley lead? Once I get the opening scene fixed in my head, I can start writing. Often, I am not sure what the theme of the story is, or where the characters are going to lead me, but I start following along to see where it will go.
For example, in The Gamekeeper’s Lady, my first view of Robert was him in bed (very busy in the draft version) with his mistress. I read the scene to my husband one day when we were driving home after spending some time with my daughter at University. He got so involved in the story--- he got lost and I had to stop reading until we found the road again. The scene after that was of Frederica, galloping wildly in the country refusing to believe she was to marry her cousin. How this couple were ever to get together, I had no idea.
Robert’s twin brother, Charlie, in More Than a Mistress found his story in a very different manner. He appears briefly in Robert’s book, but he was very, well to put it mildly, dutiful. The good twin, for sure. I couldn’t imagine what sort of woman would shake him out of his complacency, apart from the fact he had let his brother down badly. Merry Draycott, a commoner, broke down on the road in front of him. An independent business woman, she was also a heroine fit for a duke.
I have lots more examples and no doubt will be sharing them as we go along, but now it is your turn. Do you have a particular favorite type of story? I would be interested to know, for when I get my next idea.
Regency Ramble Blog