Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Where do stories come from?

Today we're talking about the birds and the bees. As far as story telling goes, that is.

So, where do stories come from? Do they come from the stork?

(Has anyone ever seen the Family Guy episode where the Stork makes the baby with the woman? He puts a red light bulb in her lamp & cheesy 70's porn music starts playing. Absolutely hilarious!)

Anyway, stories can come from anywhere or any thing.

Look around you. Look at the people and personalities you encounter every day. I'm sure there is at least one colorful character who would be great writing material!

What about work? What kind of work do you do? What happens in your day-to-day at the office? I'm sure you have to deal with some interesting situations.

What about your car? Do you love your car? Do you hate it? Remember, Christine is about a car (as was My Mother the Car). You can write the story about all the owners your car had and all the trips and adventures it went on, or you can use it as a character's car. In Unbreakable Hostage, Lareina drives a black S-10 King cab. Guess what. I used to own one of those ;) And Tony's old 'Stang? Yeah, that was my ex-husband's old ride. Sometimes we can use things as simple as a car and really add to our stories!

What about your family? Have you or a family member lived through any interesting events? My grandfather is 90 years old and has a million wonderful stories. I am dying to do a biography on him. No one else may find it interesting, but his is a story that needs to be told.

Got any pets? Animals are GREAT for telling stories. They can be on the sideline, or they can steal the show! :) They are a gold mine for stories!

What about your life experience? One thing that I think is so important is to write from experience. We've all heard the old addage to write what you know. Well, let's take that one step further. Write what you know, but put a twist on it. For example, I began writing Imperfect at a very dark time in my life. Now, I was not going through anything near what Carol was going through, but I took my emotions and stress and fears from my own life and put that into her story. There are some similiarities between her and I, but hers is a deviation from my own story (at that time in my life). Unbreakable Hostage is also like that. I never went through exactly what Lareina went through, but I used my own experiences to create her story. There are parallels, but again, hers stands on its own. Our own lives are an endless bounty of ideas. Just put a new spin on them. It makes for a great novel, trust me!

You can also take a walk or go somewhere (either familiar or new), and see what you feel as you go around. Those scenarios make excellent starting points for stories! Even if you're not sure where the story will go, that's fine! Just start it there and let the story write itself!

You can also use a picture or a person. Maybe a particular painting or photograph holds special meaning to you. Why not base a story around that?

I openly admit that I use certainly celebrities as inspiration for my characters. There's nothing wrong with that! Create a character based on yout favorite actor or actress and see what happens to that character!

If you find yourself scratching your head, think you have nothing to write, you are akin to the women with the endless closets who say they have nothing to wear.

WRONG! You do. You have endless possibilities for a story. Just look around you.

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