Writing Ideas – Part I
Earlier, I posted about what fuels your ideas, and I used “Early Edition” as one of mine. Someday I’d like to get into my head and pull out all of my favorite plot twists, events, characters, settings, etc. – wishing I could put them all together.
(I take a deep breath and let it out slowly.) Well, it would be fun, but for today, I’ll focus on a few things that get my creative juices flowing, hoping someday to change them up and do something with them, re-invent them in a different way using the same concept.
It’s only been a few weeks since Leonard Nimoy died. I always liked him. I watched him as Spock, and just a couple years later, as Paris for two seasons, on “Mission: Impossible.” Remember that? I actually bought Season 5 of “Mission: Impossible,” because Sam Elliott, another favorite actor (think Dodge Ram commercials and “The Sacketts”) portrayed a young doctor named Doug that season. I’ve always liked Sam too, especially when I learned his birthday is the same as mine. He is ten years older than me.
The episode in question was called “Hunted.” It had poetic justice in a bad way. It takes place in a mythical African country (think a country like South Africa during Apartheid) where Paris pretends to be a wounded-in-the-leg Barney, to draw authorities away from where Barney (who was disguised as a white man at first) was hiding. Paris didn’t expect he’d actually get hurt, but some enthusiastic whites in a warehouse swung a large, heavy hook at him, hitting him in the chest, throwing him to a table he destroyed when he landed on it. He’s able to escape, but he told Phelps later he thought he’d cracked a couple ribs.
It was poetic justice in a bad way I don’t remember having seen something like that before in exactly that way. I thought, “Ohhh. Poses hurt. Gets hurt.” It made an impression on me. I wonder how I’ll work that into a story someday.
In my earlier post, I talked about updates I’d like to do sometime. I talked about “Early Edition” and The Listener/No One Hears But Him. Here’s that link if you want to refresh your memory.
Meghan’s Choice came about when an obscure history lesson from my hometown came to mind. I’m originally from Newton, Kansas. You can Google The Gunfight at Hyde Park, (it doesn’t matter how you spell Hyde, or Hide, you’ll find it) and you’ll find all the information I did on Wikipedia. I wondered how I could use that in a novel. It became the climax of Meghan’s Choice. What you might not know is that my hometown was established by the Santa Fe Railroad in 1871. It was a very wild place. I civilized it a bit for my novel. By 1872, when the railhead moved to Wichita, my hometown calmed down, but there was still some stuff going on here and there. Most of the rabble rousers had moved 22 miles south. My second and third books in the series will show the taming of New Boston, Kansas.
My Moments of Courage stories are based on real people and events. But I did take some fictional liberties, filling in the blanks to hopefully enhance and enrich the story with details not and dialogue not told in the narrative.
In my next post on this subject, I may talk about ideas coming from questions asked. What If…? What would happen if…? How could I work in this? Or that?
If you’re a writer, where do your ideas come from? Write down your ideas and use them however you can. Once you start using them, more will come. Tell me one of your most intriguing ideas. I won’t steal it. I’ve got my own. Be as obscure as you want. Leave me a comment and let me know.
I get ideas from lots of places — conversations that I hear, people that I see, books that I read, songs that I hear, things that I help my children research. Ideas are all around us, we just need to be paying attention.
A family friend has a website, KenBirks.com. Ken is into “self-publishing”. Supposedly “smashwords” helps people publish their books online. Help with formatting, etc. I was told it isn’t very expensive…I was also told that Amazon has their own self-publishing set-up but they don’t accept pre-formatted books done by “smashwords”. I don’t know if any of this will be of help to you in getting your books and stories published, but thought I’d pass on the info.