Please welcome Seleste deLaney to The Authorteers! She's here today to talk about writing ideas.
Snippets Filled with Win
One of the questions authors get all the time is “Where do you get your ideas?” Well, that’s easy—I joined the Idea-of-the-month club when I started and get a couple ideas delivered right to my door every month.
Seriously though, ideas are everywhere—you just have to be open to them. You know what’s even more rampant than fully realized ideas though? Snippets of ideas. These are the little token things that make you bounce up and down and say “wouldn’t that be awesome????”
For a while, I kept a file of all the idea snippets, but then I stopped because it became depressing to look at (partly because some ideas were really stupid in retrospect and others because while I was waiting for just the right story, someone else used my snippet in a book that hit all the best seller lists.) So now I just keep some in mind and hope that when the time comes, I haven’t forgotten them all.
Here’s a few new and not-so-new ones I haven’t core-dumped yet:
- There’s a town in New Mexico called Truth or Consequences. I MUST set a book there someday just because reasons.
- During an internet chat about the Dixie Chicks, someone coined the term Dixiepunk (like steampunk only really, really not) I want to write Dixiepunk like I want to breathe.
- Superheroes. I’ve wanted to write a superhero book for a couple years now. I have TWO ideas finally. I just have to see which one I can flesh out fully.
- The Guff. Anyone remember the Guff from the Demi Moore movie, The Seventh Sign? The idea of a room of souls absolutely fascinates me. I must use it at some point.
Things that started as random ideas that eventually made it into books I’ve written:
- Gaming and specifically my old guild, The Fourth Wall. Ever since my days playing Everquest, I wanted to write a book about gamers. Took a long time, but it finally happened with Gaming for Keeps, and I even got to use my old guild name as a guild in the story.
- Cursed painting. I am fascinated by the idea of cursed objects. It’s what made me a die-hard fan of shows like Warehouse 13 and The Librarians. There’s a cursed painting in Conning for Keeps and thinking about the research I did while writing that book still gives me chills.
- Cyborgs. I’m sorry, cyborgs are just cool. I mean, awful, but cool. And while they aren’t exactly cyborgs in the computerized way we usually think, I have a few examples of part living, part machine in my steampunk romance series that starts with Badlands. (Cyclops is still my personal favorite.)
- Local lore monsters. There are a few really cool bits of lore in Michigan that begged and pleaded for story time. I finally got to put one in Kiss of Life. The Nain Rouge makes his appearance March 2, so be on the lookout!
There are dozens more that I either want to use or have used in the past, but seriously, idea snippets are everywhere. Every so often you can even grab a handful of snippets and flesh out an entire plot around them. Now, that is a beautiful thing.
But if you’re a new writer, I strongly recommend keeping a file because you never know when that little sliver of an idea will finally dig in and become something huge.
Thank you for sharing, Seleste! I can definitely relate and completely agree. ^_^
At a young age, Seleste deLaney discovered the trick to not being afraid of the monsters under the bed was to turn them into heroes. Since that time, she’s seen enough of human monsters that she prefers to escape to fictional worlds where even the worst demons have to play by the rules and the good guys might end up battered and bruised (or dead), but they always win. And really, isn’t that the way it should be?
She resides in the Detroit area with all her favorite monsters (nice ones—some are furry and the others call her Mom) and is hard at work on her next book. In those rare moments when she isn’t battling terrorists, vampires, or rogue clockworks, she can be found all over the Internet, where she loves to interact with readers.
Seleste's latest book is Kiss of Life:
The vampire’s curse has been awakened, and Jocelyn has no choice but to accept her destiny as the Blood Kissed—the one destined to destroy the vampires…or rule them. While Max and Chad want to help her reach her full potential, not all of the supernaturals share their plan.
The Council of Elders, a crazed sorcerer assassin, and a vampire hunter out for revenge have driven Jocelyn into hiding. She and her ragtag army have holed up in the forests of Michigan’s upper peninsula to get ready for the fight. If training is any indication, they should be ready for war by the time she turns fifty.
But no one is going to let her wait that long. War is nigh, the death toll is rising, and when Michigan’s most famous harbinger of doom shows up on the scene, the army of the Blood Kissed is hoping for a miracle, praying to be graced with a little kiss of life…
Seleste is offering PDFs of Of Course I Try, The Ghost of Vampire Present, and Kiss of Death to one lucky winner!
(Click on the title to read more on Goodreads)
a Rafflecopter giveaway
What do you think? If you're a writer, where do your ideas come from? How do you keep track of them?