Writer Wednesday #3 :: Where Do My Story Ideas Come From

I don’t usually talk much about ‘me’ or my writing process because frankly, I don’t think readers would find it very interesting. They’re here for the books I write and probably don’t care much about my daily routine but I had a reader, Regan, ask me last week, over on Facebook, where I came up with my ideas for stories and since I started the Writer Wednesday feature to talk about my writing progress from the previous week, I figured this was a good time to get into my writing process since I was asked specifically for it.

Most of my stories are nothing more than a desire to ‘read something’ I either can’t find or want more of. The Willow Creek series came about for this very reason. I LOVE westerns, historical more than contemporary’s, and I’ve devoured all I can find. Some leave me wanting more while others, I think I would have been better off not even reading.

My desire for more cowboys led my muse into fantasizing…and the distinct vision of an outlaw popped into my head. An outlaw who kidnaps a girl, falls in love with her and… well, you’ll just have to read my upcoming book, The Outlaw, to see where my thoughts went after that.

I knew when I had the idea that one story wouldn’t be enough so, I thought my Outlaw should have a brother, one completely opposite from him. The Lawman. More siblings joined in and I had an entire family, each brother as different from the next as one could get and a father who was afflicted with something no one knew how to cure. I imaged the town they were from, what the air smelled like and saw the mountains rising in the distance.

The stories came to me quickly, the plots screeching through my head so fast, I had a hard time getting them down quick enough. When all was said and done, I had 4 stories, fleshed out inside my head with tons of scribbled notes.

I also had the beginnings of another story, set in the same town, with a new set of characters. That story originally, would have been first. An introduction to the town, but halfway through the story, I knew it would be too long. It was a novel and those characters needed time to flesh out their story without having to stop and create my fictional town so readers could see it in their mind. That could be done in the novellas, in small pieces, so His Brother’s Wife will be book 5.

My other stories came about in the same way. The Night Breeds series, my paranormal romances, was a thought after reading a paranormal series years ago. In that author’s world, everyone knew vampires and shifters were real, and I wondered then, what did all those people ‘do’ when they found out? How did they react? Who was the first vampire/shifter to make himself known?

The idea was born from no more than those 3 questions. What would the world do if they woke one morning to find out the world of the supernatural existed? That the tales of monsters weren’t stories just to scare children, but were real. That the monsters were real. I set the stage for those questions to be answered in the first 2 books of the Night Breed series, The Calling and The Gathering, and we’ll explore the ramifications in book 3 and 4, which I’ll begin writing later this year.

Other stories weren’t so ‘deep’ in the planning. Most of the time, its just a ‘what if’ scenario. What if you’ve dreamed of a man your entire life then saw him one day, in the flesh? And what if he’s been dreaming of you, too? I explore those ‘what ifs’ in the book, Destined Hearts, which was the first original story I ever tried to write. It took me 3 years to complete and is one of my favorites. It’s not an overly ‘sexy’ book like most of my others are but its more of a classic love story filled with romance and a hero who gives up everything to have the girl of his dreams.

A Touch of Heaven was nothing more than a naughty mind wanting a little adventure and what better place than a male strip club? *grin* But seeing men strip isn’t much of a story so… what if the man you’d been ogling was actually the nerdy geek you teased in high school? He’s not a nerd now and he’s out to prove it, one sexy dance at a time!

I don’t know of any writer who doesn’t have several dozen story ideas just waiting to be written. I do. I even have a handful of stories already started that stalled for one reason or another, two of those totally 40,000 words. I’ll get back to them one of these days but in the meantime, I’ll work with what I have and hope my readers follow along on my journey.

There’s always a story whispering itself to me and it doesn’t take much to trigger another. A conversation or picture can lead to a simple What If and before you know it, the muse, Benny, is screeching through my head, demanding I stop what I’m doing to jot down some notes. Too bad he’s not happy after that. He’s always eager to start writing and pitches a fit when I don’t. He’ll get over it though. He always does.

So, there’s my ‘process’ for creating new stories. If you have a question you’d like answered, leave it in the comments and I’ll tackle it on Writer Wednesday someday in the future!

Until next time,

All material &copy2005-2012 to Lily Graison
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About Lily Graison

Lily Graison is a USA TODAY bestselling author of historical western romances. She also writes a variety of genres under the name L. R. Grasion. Most all of her stories lean heavily to the spicy side with strong female leads and heroes who tend to always get what they want. She writes full time and lives in Hickory, NC with her husband and a house full of Yorkies

3 Responses to Writer Wednesday #3 :: Where Do My Story Ideas Come From

  1. Melodyprater3 says:

    Thank you so much for sharing and it is wonderful to have a look into the way you write! It is always nice to have a picture in my head of the process you go through while writing, when i am read your books.

  2. Lily Graison says:

    Thanks for stopping by Melody, and for commenting! 

  3. Pgnangel says:

    I’ve always wondered if you found it difficult to decide how each story you write should start. Not the first scene, but the first sentence.

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