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.”
- 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?