Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Imagination and story concepts

There has been some chat on other sites about where story ideas come from. While many of us get an inspiration, as I’ve spoken about before, what happens if it just doesn’t come.

I would like to share with you how I came to write my newly completed manuscript.

I had stored a copy, on computer, of a newspaper article about an accident in a rugged part of the Australian landscape. It was an interesting topic, might be developed later. It involved a group of 20 yr-olds out seeking adventure. When I came to write a story, I thought, surely in this group of young people there could have been a love interest. It all developed from there. The news article spurred research into similar accidents. The activity, accident, and outcomes all changed by the time I wrote my story. The setting for the heroine was actually a component of one of my uni courses. A PR hospitality business and publicity plan. I had already developed the concept, of the B&B idea for that purpose, so changed it slightly for some of the settings in my story. A friend of mine has hair like my heroine, some life experiences fill in gaps. It all helps.

The old ‘what if’ scenario comes into play for me a lot. What if this happened, what if he reacted like this… and so it goes on. There are no limits with fiction. The only limit is our imagination. And like Anna Jacobs says “I think the imagination is like a muscle: the more you use it, the stronger it grows - and the more ideas it throws out.”

So go ahead people, use it.

Annie

3 comments:

Rachael Blair said...

I love this story about how you found your idea. I often use newspaper and magazine articles to spark ideas. In fact, I have a big stash of profiles I've torn from various publications, only problem is I need to work on developing the conflicts of these people! :)

Annie Doyle said...

Thanks for dropping by. Oh yes, I can't resist saving profiles either. The ones I like is when the journo has asked all those questions and there are the answers! That's a great start. Course the name has to be changed to protect the innocent!
At the moment, I am researching a profession - an interesting one - hopefully it will end up in my next hero's life! I'll keep you informed how it goes.
It is sparking some ideas for possilbe story lines. That's always good.
Regards Annie

Chicki said...

Great idea about saving newspaper or magazine stories. My stories are usually bits and pieces of things I've heard, current events, life experiences, and just my weird imagination. :)

I got the following quote this week from the National Association of Women Writers:

"The writer should never be ashamed of staring. There is nothing that does not require her attention."

Everything we see and hear is future story material.