8436847014_0d31f0b935_z Rainbow WANA Commons by Dani Jace
Photo from WANA Commons. By Dani Jace.

As writers, we’re often asked if we’re worried we’ll run out of ideas—or simply where our ideas come from in the first place. For me, my stories often come to me as a single image. For my newest WIP, a novella that I just started this week, it started with a woman looking out into her yard and seeing a rainbow—and then a strange figure emerging from that rainbow. It was a simple image and I had no idea where it would go. But I’m a pantser at heart, so my stories tend to start that way—a single image or scene that I want to explore.

After I’ve got a scene or two down on the page, I’ll stop and try to do some outlining and plotting and do some character background. And then I move forward with the rest of the story, fleshing it out and filling in details as I go. My current method is a blend of pantser meets plotter, since my first drafts are much cleaner and more cohesive when I do some planning work early in the process.

Sunday ROW80 check-in


  • Finish a second draft of my novella “Good Old-Fashioned Magic.” Added two new scenes this week.
  • Write a first draft of another novella. Wrote slightly over 1K in a new story, tentatively titled “At Rainbow’s End.”
  • Read a minimum of four books on the business or craft of writing. Finished reading “Conflict and Suspense” by James Scott Bell. Started reading Bell’s “Novel from the Middle.”

Social media:

  • Check in on Twitter daily. Not so much this week. Met two of five days.
  • Blog two times per week. Blogged Wednesday and Sunday. Goal met.
  • Comment on three to five blogs per day, Monday-Thursday. Met for Wednesday and Thursday, not for Monday and Tuesday.

A Round of Words in 80 Days is the writing challenge that knows you have a life. Click here to cheer on fellow participants.

What about you? Where do your story ideas come from? How does your process work?

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