I’m often asked how I come up with ideas for my stories, so today I’m giving you a glimpse into the process with the book I’m currently working on…
…a book that is giving me no end of trouble as the voice in my head keeps asking…
Do you really want him to be the villain?
Now I’ve heard of authors who write a book not knowing who the villain will turn out to be so that the process of writing is as fun and surprising for them as it will be for the reader.
Being VERY left-brained (that is to say I like to plot everything out ahead of time and figure out how it will work before I start writing), I have never contemplated such a thing.
At least… not until last week.
And I’ve got to admit that letting my right brain (or muse as many refer to that fountain of ideas in your head) have it’s whimsical way is a lot of fun.
Every morning for the past week, I’ve come to my writing with new energy, wondering what interesting twists I’ll discover today that I’d never imagined when I wrote up that story summary to sell my story to my editor.
The key to making the writing process an adventure, I’ve discovered, is asking good questions. Then letting the answers generate more questions and answers and see where they lead.
I do this by clustering (also called mind-mapping).
Here’s one I did last week when that voice in my head kept hounding me about changing my villain. Not sure if you’ll actually be able to read my handwriting, but even if you can, I’m not worried about giving away the story, because honestly… I haven’t decided who the villain will ultimately be.
Gasp! I know. Heretical!
From top to bottom, people images courtesy of David Castillo Dominici (X2), imagerymajestic and photostock / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
As quite a left-brained person myself, I had to learn clustering from my right-brained friend/writer, Linda Warner, in order to teach my students in my English classes. My problem-solving strategies usually include lists of Pros, Cons, and Alternatives.
Oh, yes, we sound like two peas in a pod.:)
Very interesting, Sandra. I’ll have to try it!
I love this idea. It sounds like it would really fire the creative juices.
Thanks for referring to this on your MBT chat interview tonight, Sandra– Really appreciate it! Congratulations on all your success and thanks for everything you’ve shared!
You’re very welcome! You asked great questions. Glad you found this helpful. I have a few other specific writing related posts listed under extras for writers tab