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Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Story Ideas

By K. L. Bridgewater Every writer has been asked, “Where do you find your ideas?” I pondered that question lately as I read On Writing by Stephen King ( a great writing book, by the way). Where do my ideas come from? Do I think of characters first? Does my character walk in front of me and sit down to start discussing her life story? Does the setting materialize out of nothing, begging to make an appearance on my page? Do clichés and metaphors jump around clinging to descriptions, trying to make the action more realistic for the reader? Actually, sounds good. But no. When I write, the ending usually appears first. Sounds odd, I know. But since I write suspense, this usually helps because my endings are usually the first thing I write. The last third of the book pumps me up as I write the final black moment of my protagonist and antagonist’s existence as they figure out who wants them out of the picture and how to stop them. I love writing the high tension moments, which helps when I try to fill in the other parts of the first third of the book because I need more and more tension. I enjoy tightening the knot on the characters and watching them squirm. Every time something bad happens, I become happy. I even am happy when I write in the voice or mind of the killer. Because I don’t act like that in real person, it is kinda fun to think how would someone actually feel as they do harmful things to others. I mean, how could you kill someone because you were jealous and wanted revenge? How could you run someone off the road, knowing they might die? One of my weakness I have discovered (which a couple of contests recently have varied) is my ability to characterize. I have all the tension to make a good story, but I don’t jump into the skin of my hero and heroine and feel their emotions throughout the story. Recently, I purchased Characters, Emotions, and Viewpoint by Nancy Kress, hoping to learn something to improve my characters. I still enjoy the high action endings, where I throw in a twist to confuse the readers. In my three part story, which I’m still in the process of developing, I know the ending to all three books. They are intertwined, and the readers needs to read them in order, or it will spoil the final twist in the novel. I have the endings planned out for each book. I have a couple of number of twists in each book, and I know how to tighten the knot in each book, but I’m still trying to have Devin and Chloe talk to me, so I can understand their motivations. What part of your story comes first when you are writing? Is there any aspect of writing that you struggle with? How are you trying to fix this dilemma?

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