Where do you get your ideas? If you're a writer you've heard this question many times. My answer is "everywhere." But if that's all I can say this blog will be very short. So, a few specifics.
TV shows and movies. No, I don't use entire plots. But sometimes a situation or plot element in a TV show or a movie will really strike me. But instead of writing about how the character on the show handled, say, a secret baby, I apply the question to my particular character, or characters. And since my characters are different people, they will react differently. Partly because the situations that people accept in a TV show, particularly a soap opera, don't really work in a book. For instance, none of my characters have been married or involved 150 times. That is common in a soap opera. Three or four marriages the reader can accept. More becomes iffy in a book. Although, my dad knew someone who had been married eight times. Yes, really. But do you think my readers would buy that? I don't. Except, dang it, now I'm thinking about a character who's been married eight times. What would cause you to keep marrying? Why would a person even want to get married eight times? I'm not sure I see the appeal.
News items often spark ideas. And I love the weird things that show up when I read my Facebook feed. "Twelve celebrities with the worst plastic surgery," or "What is the cast of Gilligan's Island doing now?", or one I've been seeing a lot lately, Victorian pictures of dead people in family photos. The last might be good for a paranormal book.
Today, among other things, I found an article with pictures of a wild bear and wolf who are friends. Great pictures, and yay, they were all on one page. This is the only one I saw today that I thought I might somehow put in a book.
I hate the ones where you have to punch next (or wait for the slide show to change) for every single picture. A lot of the time I get caught up and go through the whole thing laboriously. Cursing the whole way.:)
I also found "Celebs we feel sorry for," "Rare historical photos", "animal hybrids" and "enormous dogs". I might be able to work in enormous dogs. Or animal hybrids.
Oddly named towns or streets can be interesting. I once set a book, Cowboy Come Home, in Happy, Texas because I thought the name was so great.
We have an Easy Street where I live and I'm considering putting that in a book. Did you know there's a town in Texas called Big Stinking Creek?
What a great name!
Yesterday I had to go to sleep clinic to find out if I needed to have a sleep study done. This was a brand new to me doctor and specialty. So I was sitting in the exam room after talking to the doctor and began thinking about how I could use this experience in a book. Since I write romance and romantic suspense I thought of several scenarios involving the doctors, nurses, techs, and patients. I even had a few ideas for a romantic suspense, involving dead bodies, naturally. "Murder at the Sleep Clinic." Or "Death Comes to the Sleep Clinic." Anyway, it would be fun to play with.
The point is, there are stories everywhere. These are just a few that have occurred to me. I'll leave you with one of my favorite quotes from Anne Lamott.
“You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should've behaved better.” – Anne Lamott
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