Friday, March 15, 2013

Ask Elnora--About New Ideas--Third Friday Writing

Yes, it's that time of the month. Third Friday Writing Day. What shall we discuss today? How about new ideas for plots? Where do they come from? How do we get them? Are there really only so many plots in the world or is everything old new again? How do we make our plots seem new and fresh???

First, Elnora hasn't a clue. I usually look out the window for a few hours then get a scene in my head then someone in that scene starts talking in my head and then I decided "Hey, I'd better write this stuff down or I'll forget it." Then I play with that idea, eat a lot of chocolate, shop online for inspiration and maybe, just maybe come up with a plot.

But my favorite way to figure out a plot (besides the Seven Deadly Sins thing I mentioned a few weeks ago) is to read a newspaper article, then find another article to match to it. By taking these two different subjects and using some of the aspects from them, I can usually come up with a plot. For example, I have a book out in September that is about art theft. I saw an article about this in the Sunday paper. Then I wanted to set this story in New Orleans. I had an American princess in mind to be the heroine. She had been mentioned in The Diamond Secret (which was out in 2012). Then I found an article about a photojournalist and how he combined pictures with essays to write stories. I wanted to have someone such as that for my hero. So "In Pursuit of a  Princess" was born in Elnora's tiny mind. And now, it will be a real book--out later this year! No cover yet, but I hope to have one to show off soon.

But I did find this picture to use as a writing prompt. Sunset on a beach? What could happen there? What could go wrong? Are we drifting at sea? What about those two tall buildings?

Let's discuss how we come up with new twists for old plots. What would you do? How do you decide what stories to write?


  1. Hi Lenora - great post. To this day I have no idea where my ideas come from. Usually it starts with a small germ of an idea - character or scene or set up - from seemingly nowhere. Then I'll let that story seed germinate in my brain for a time while I work on other things until it feels 'ready' to harvest. How's that for a non-answer

  2. Pretty good!! It's interesting that we can take a little bit of an idea and expand it into a book. But we allow the story to develop 24/7 in our minds. That's the first part of our process. Thanks, Winnie!


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