Thursday, June 30, 2011

An Idea is Born!

Yay! Blogger is back! Did anyone else have trouble with it yesterday? I was so bummed out...

Also, for those of you paying close attention (and following this blog!) I set The Wrong Path to publish tonight on Amazon! It said it can take up to 24 hours for English and 2-3 days for other languages, so I decided to play it safe. (Call it a soft launch! LOL!) Pretty soon The Wrong Path will be out there for the world to see! /scared


But--this post is about ideas, and writing, even though I have a ton of books I want to talk about. (Boy do I...!) As I'm about to embark on my next publishing adventure, I want to share a little bit about ideas!

For a while now, I've been thinking of my next male and female leads.

I knew exactly what kind of hero I wanted--someone funny, witty, mischievously intelligent, and full of sarcasm.

I knew exactly what kind of heroine I wanted--someone friendly, outgoing, personable, and with a sharp tongue when crossed.

But I didn't have a plot. No story. Nothing to DO with these characters. And I struggled, trying to figure out what I would do with these characters building in my head.

And then it happened.

It started about a week ago, when I was driving home. I was telling my husband a funny story about this guy I work with who I've never met because he lives in another state, and thinking that I really hope I get to meet him some day. I wondered if I'd be able to recognize him just by his (rather distinctive) accent, and laughingly thought to myself, "I bet I would."

Of course, this started me thinking about how I would translate that into a story, and a young adult setting, and the characters I would write and how I would set it up.

After several days of mulling over it, I finally came up with a way to use my characters, and include a plot (at least enough of a plot to get the story started):

A girl and boy were friends and neighbors from the time they were born until they were twelve. When the boy moved, they kept in touch over the phone, and over the years their friendship continued to grow. Whenever anything went wrong in the girl's life, he was the first person she would call. When he was picked as a starter on the basketball team, hers was the first number he dialed.

Meanwhile, the girl is having trouble at school. She's got a sharp tongue on her, and not everyone takes kindly to her attitude.

One day she walks into the school, and she hears his voice. She stops short, turns, and someone says her name. He turns to face her, and they have an excited, exuberant reunion.

And that's what I got. I never actually have a plot before I start writing, and I don't actually know when I'll start writing this one, but as soon as I came up with the beginning of the story I began to feel calmer--like the buzzing in my head had become peaceful and the puzzle solved.

So... how do you come up with ideas?