Monday, March 3, 2014

Stories, Stories Everywhere

by Jean C. Gordon

Readers often ask, "Where do you get your story ideas? "My short answer is "Life." Maybe I should refine that to "Ordinary Life."

For instance the idea for my first published book, a sweet romance, came from the experience of another family that was adopting a Korean baby from the same agency we used to adopt our son. The Korean agency had a strict rule of allowing only married couples to adopt its children. Sadly, after a child was placed with a local family, the mother died before the adoption was finalized. Initially, the agency wanted to take the child back. I don't know what actually happened, but the resolution in my story is a happy one--naturally.

An article I read at work in The Wall Street Journal  planted the seed of my second book. It was about a financial planner who scammed older people. In my book, the hero's grandmother was scammed. My heroine works for the practice that scammed her. Of course, she knows nothing about it. But the hero doesn't know that.

Small-Town Sweethearts, my first Love Inspired Romance grew from a comment a family member made about how she liked their new church because it was more formal, and she could worship privately there. In contrast, I really like our church because of the fellowship the congregation shares. I started thinking about the value of Christian fellowship and how different people perceive it, and the story unfolded.

An incident my daughter experienced as a midwife inspired my latest Love Inspired, Small-Town Midwife. I thought, what if Autumn, my midwife heroine, no longer has the confidence to catch babies. Then, I brought in Dr. Jon Hanlon who exudes nothing but confidence in his technical app roach to delivering babies. How could a romance not develop?

Think about your life. How many story ideas do you see?


  1. I love your examples. It's how I get ideas too. I've gotten ideas from looking at mirrors in the back, to looking at animals at the zoo, to seeing homeless people on the street.

  2. I love your Small-Town series. Is the herione in Mid-Wife, the daughter in Small-Town Dad? I just purchused my copy of Small-Town Miid-Wife, can't wait to start reading. I also get ideas from everyday life. Stories that make me think what if...

  3. HI Jean,
    Ideas abound...usually...from the nightly news or newspapers, snippets of conversation, a radio broadcast.

    Recently, coming up with new ideas has become more difficult, or at least, more time consuming. Maybe it's because I want to flesh out the whole book at the get go. Fitting all the pieces together is an adventure in itself. Sometimes it takes longer than I would like. :)

    Love how you use small town in your titles.

  4. Hi Jean,

    Loved hearing how your story ideas developed.

    I think for me being a suspense writer requires an over active imagination:)

  5. I finally got to check in. My day job blocks all blogger blogs, so I can't even access the Craftie Ladies at lunch break.

    Hi, Pam and Debby! I can't take credit for the Small-Town titles. That goes to my first editor, Melissa, who started started it with my Love Inspired.

    Jolene -- Yes, Autumn is the daughter in Small-Town Dad. She's also the niece the heroine in Small-Town Sweethearts comes back to Paradox Lake to stay with.

  6. Jean, I love to hear how you found your ideas! I do some similar things. :)


  7. Yeah! there is a lot of stories everywhere and you can learn a lesson in every stories you heard.