A couple of years ago, before I’d decided I was going to start sharing the stories I write with more than just my sister I read a blog post by Shannon Stacey where she said she stopped in the middle of a parking lot and stared at a park ranger k-9 unit truck and wondered at the story behind that. She ended with saying the perils of being a writer is seeing a story behind everything. (At least I think that’s what she said it’s been a couple of years.)
Needless to say that has stuck with me ever since.
Years ago I was watching a special on A&E about a group of men who went undercover for a long period of time. That story has stuck with me and recently I began to sketch a series idea about them. It’s been at least five years since then, but I can still describe every single the special revealed about these men.
A friend of mine recently asked me why I watch shows like Maury, Steve Wilkos etc, and the news. I told her they were great places to find inspiration. You never know when a story idea will come to you watching these shows.
The other day I was watching one of them and I wondered what would a famous sports star do if he found out an old girl-friend was going to go on one of them and talk about him and demand a DNA test for the kid he knew wasn’t his. BAM I had the idea for one of the heroes in the series I’m working on right now. That single thought has sparked this huge angst filled book I can’t wait to dive into.
The recent outbreak of Ebola is another one of those things where I wondered what would happen if you were a Doctor with the WHO or Doctors Without Borders and you’d volunteered to head to Africa, leaving behind a girlfriend or a boyfriend (who thought you were nuts, and did everything to talk you out of it) and while there you meet and fall in love with either one of the other doc’s or an aide worker or one of the security personnel.
Or how would it be to be the first person to have a tie at the Oscars, and not for acting. Not only that but to be a woman in a field driven by men. (Yes this happened. The woman who won the Sound Editing Oscar for Skyfall)
Don’t even get me started on song’s that can inspire stories. How many of you have ever wanted to write Tommy and Gina’s story from Bon Jovi’s “Livin’ on a Prayer,” or any really great rock ballad from the 80’s or a country music song. “I can’t hold back” by Survivor has so much angst and talks about not holding back with the person you’re with. There’s a story there…and dang it now I want to write that story.
See inspiration everywhere.
My husband and I are people watchers. We like to go places and just sit and watch people. Sometimes he’ll point out someone and go what’s their story? On the spot I’ll make up a story about them. My kids have even gotten into it. Some of the things they come up with one day end up in a story, some of them are just well.
While I was writing my book that comes out in November I was stuck and my sons (who are teenagers) over heard me on the phone talking about my writers block. On the way to rugby that night they informed me they had the solution to my problem. They then proceeded to give me explicit details on how to fix my story. None of what they gave me was usable as it didn’t fit the story, I am however keeping it because it goes with the story about the undercover agents.
As you can tell I get inspiration from everything around me. It’s simply a matter of letting your mind be open to those little gems that turn into a great story.
Heather has traveled all over the world, speaks several languages, collects romance books like they’re going out of style, and has multiple book boyfriends. Ok, she hasn’t been all over the world, except in her mind. She does however speak multiple languages and collect romance books. Her long-suffering husband and sons roll their eyes at all her book boyfriends. When she’s not busy on her next novel she can be found at one of her sons many sporting events or on twitter talking about what else, romance books. She loves to hear what you think about her stories so please drop her a note.
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