Friday, February 23, 2007

Got inspiration?

I wasn't one of those kids that carried around a notebook and documented my entire childhood. I really wish I would have been! Authors have always been like rockstars to me and when I would browse through the bookstore caressing the smooth covers, I wanted to be one. But I could never come up with any original ideas. So the idea of being an author was buried deep in my subscious along with my dream to win the lottery.

Then my first son was born. I didn't want him growing up seeing his mother work an unfulfilling job just because the money was good. I wanted him to see me living my dream, and hopefully follow in my footsteps. Um, I also got laid off. :) So I started trying to think of what job I could do from home that I would actually enjoy. Some of my friends wanted me to start giving those parties with the high-end sex toys. But I decided that I wanted to write.

Now came the hard part. Thinking up ideas to actually sustain a three hundred page novel. I remember my first idea. Brace yourselves!

The title: Forget Me Not

The synopsis: A woman unsatisfied with her life goes out of town on business and gets in a terrible car accident causing her to lose her memory. She is suddenly free to have the life she wants until she starts remembering the family she had forgotten. When she remembers will she choose to keep living the life she always dreamed of, or will she go back to the family and the life she never knew she wanted but realizes she loved?

Yes, I know, cheeseball city. As if the world needs one more amnesiac story. It sounds like about ten Lifetime movies I've seen. You could probably check on Amazon and the title is already taken for a similar book.

Okay, so I didn't get anywhere with that. But I found that the ideas started coming in after this first one. Most of them sucked, but occasionally there would be tidbits I could use.

REVENGE OF THE HOMECOMING QUEEN was the third novel that I wrote. And now the ideas come fast and furious. Some still suck, but I think most will eventually find a home. I see everything differently now. I'm constantly on the lookout for ideas or how I can twist something into an idea. My most recent idea came from the most unlikely source, the seventy-five percent off Valentine's candy at Target. But now that I think about it, chocolate has always been sort of an inspiration! :) So look around you, ideas are everywhere!

Okay, I couldn't stand it and went and Amazon'd (yes, I made that up, but you can use it) Forget Me Not. Look what I found.

As I read the summary of the book, I realized that this was exactly what I was talking about. The author, Marliss Melton, took the standard amnesiac idea and twisted it into something original. Her story still contains the unsatisfied wife who longs for a different life. Then one day her husband dies so she gets to have the life she wants. Then he comes back from the dead, but can't remember anything. Wife isn't too excited about it, but he's a different man now and they start to fall in love all over again. It reminds me of that movie Regarding Henry, if Henry was a Navy SEAL. But you get what I'm saying, you have to take a tried and true story and put your own spin on it.

So where do you get your inspiration and ideas?
I'm off to add Marliss' book to my Amazon wish list now! :) Happy Weekend!



All that matters is what's long as your outside is wearing the tiara!REVENGE OF THE HOMECOMING QUEEN, July 3,2007, Berkley Jam Books


TinaFerraro said...

Hey, Steph! Some week the 7 of us Buzz Girls should take turns posting blurbs on our early crash-and-burn ideas. I can definitely bring some trash to the party!

As far as where my ideas come from, it's a combination of conscious thoughts ("Hey, what if a guy dumped you 2 days before a prom...") and subconscious rambling that takes place during the early draft process. I've been down to shut down for the night and say to my husband, "Well, I'm going to have to learn about volleyball now because it turns out that's what my heroine plays". He knows better than to suggest I change it to something easier...that The Muse Has Spoken.


Kelly Parra said...

It's hard to say exactly where my ideas come from but they start from one little tidbit I might hear someone say or a headliner on an article, then I think about it and think about it--haha--until I think it could be a strong story idea. =D

Lisa Asanuma said...

I think everybody's first book had an amnesia storyline. Heehee. When I look back at my earliest stuff, it was all amnesia and/or twins. Sigh.

I should probably introduce myself. My name is Lisa Asanuma and now that I'm graduating from school I'm starting to get serious about writing, which I've been doing since the sixth grade. I don't remember who linked me here, but I'm glad I was linked, whoever it was. I tend to get my story ideas from people, I guess. I'm a big people-watcher and sometimes just seeing a stranger in some miscellaneous act I'll start imagining how and why they got to that point, etc.

bethany said...

Okay, look, I have next weekend free, can you come over here and host a sex toy party, or what?

I actually went to one of those parties once. It was a really bad experience. The hostess drank the entire pitcher of bahama mamas ten minutes before the party started, and all they had to eat was carrots and a cake shaped like a penis.

My sister in law was there and she was pregnant with my nephew and she was in a foul mood, either because of the carrot situation, or because she disaproved of the sex toys or she wanted to buy all the sex toys or whatever. (I didn't ask her because of the foul mood situation).

Also, the merchandise was, I kid you not, like 700 vibrators, and the lady that was selling them would go, "ooh, this is the spiral love rocket 2000," and she would hold it for a few minutes, and lick her lips and then she would make us pass them around. All 700 of them. And if you didn't pass them fast enough, because you were juggling five or six vibrators and didn't know who to pass them to, this rather mean lesbian who worked with us, would vibrate you in the head. So, yes, I have had a (rather mean) lesbian, prod me in the head with a vibrator. It isn't an experience that I would recomend, especially when sober with a belly full of carrots.

The penis shaped cake was pretty good, though.

bethany said...

oh, please don't assume I get (all) my ideas from sex parties. I just wanted to share my experience since you said your friends suggested. . . . Can I imagine you as the vibrator lady, with her polyester pants? No, no no!

My first book, does revolve around a prop that might be found at a sex party (one that featured something besides 700 vibrators). 700 is an aproximation. I didn't count them.

For the record, I do not own a pair of handcuffs, and Steph, if you want to delete my post since this is a YA reader friendly blog, I won't be offended!!!

Heather Davis said...

Lol, Steph! I can't believe you went to Amazon and found that book. You're hilarious...

Tina is right, we've probably all got some crazy plots from the beginning of our writing careers. I'm much more cautious now about "giving my heart" to an idea since it takes so much work to bring it to life. Usually, I'll rough out a few pages to see if there's anything in there, if I can get a handle on the voice, etc. If not, I toss it into the someday pile and move to the next new idea. :)

stephhale said...

Thanks for the comments! Lisa, thanks for outing yourself and I hope we see you more!
Bethany~you crack me up. I went to one of those parties once too, and we bought a vibrator as a joke then we went were moving my mom found it. Yeah, it was bad.
I also had a penis cake for my bachelorette party. I have this really vulgar pic of me shoving it towards my mouth. Hubby likes it though.
We now return you to your PG rated blog.