A question that someone asked me at my first book signing was, “Where do you get your ideas?” In other words, how do you write a whole book and fill it continuously with ideas?

That’s a great question because I’m sure every writer has different answers and not just one. Many of my ideas come from being awake early in the morning, but not having to get up right away, my mind throws out different ideas. Sometimes that happens in the middle of the night (which I don’t like much because it keeps me awake). A lot of times ideas come when I’m taking a shower—sometimes in a dream. I’m guessing my mind is less preoccupied with doing something else and there is a space, and being relaxed, the ideas flow.

Many writers will say ideas are character–driven. Meaning the character you create will think, speak and behave in certain ways consistent with how you imagine him or her. So you conceptualize what that person might say and it creates new pathways in your story. Then again, if you need to move away from predictability, you can imagine that character moving in a way contrary to their character. That gives you the leeway to really play with ideas.


Researching is a constant source and place to get motivation for new ideas. Perhaps you’re looking for particular culture. A ritual or belief may spark a discovery that one of your characters can utilize for action in his own culture. For example, maybe you conjure up a trip that a character makes or include a new character from another country. One idea can lead to a combination of many others.

If you are sharing your story with someone else as you progress, ask them for an idea. You might not like it, or use it, but it could help you diverge to other new avenues or convince you that your own idea is better for what you’re trying to achieve.

Creativity is something we all have. And inner artist if you will. In fact – pick up a copy of The Artists Way and read it. You’ll be amazed at what’s locked up inside.

Here’s a link to some pretty outrageous ideas that might jar you, but might be just what you need for developing more creativity:



The First Chapter…

November 18, 2014

The first chapter I wrote I dreamed about. In my dream this young, attactive woman, a teacher, goes to sleep in her mountain cabin in early February and she has an experience that at first looks like an OBE or Out of Body Experience, but turns out to be a spontaneous teleportation to another dimension. It’s not a parallel dimension, but it does occupy the same space as earth, just a different place.

The main character, Skylar Winter, tells her story in first person and takes us through the sensations she is aware of and the realization that her feet are not on the ground, she’s not in her bed, and she’ a little dizzy. She finds a way out of the dark to a beautiful expanse of meadow and trees, colors so brilliant they do not compare to what we see ourselves here in our world. She is lighter and glides over the floor of a balcony instead of walks and then is jarred by hearing the voice of a young girl calling her Avria.

I liked the visual picture I was creating, but after reading it decided it was not right for the first chapter. I needed to get the readers excited and curious about what was going to happen in this story, after all, it was not going to be all flowers and butterflies. So I chucked that chapter and wrote another. This time she transports spontaneously to a very dark and dangerous, morbid place in the other dimension, which is called Mohrkhavn. She finds herself outside of an ancient, grey castle and someone is in danger there. She, herself, is nearly captured by men, if they are men, who have some distinctive features.

This was a much better opening chapter. It is juxtaposed with the next chapter that introduces us to the antagoinst, Ryan Eddington. I always enjoyed reading Dean Koontz and began looking at different styles and formulas he might be using in telling his stories. One of them was to get the reader to travel back and forth between different events happening to different characters in the book. I decided to try that myself. I’m happy with how well that worked for me.

I began visualizing what Skye Winter would look like. She needed to be vulnerable and have some flaws. I would tackle the antagonist next with the hope I would figure out what Skye’s problems were as I went along. I really didn’t know what I was doing.

If you are a writer, would you have started to write a novel differently? I bet your would. I had never taken any academic writing courses in college. I still haven’t.