12 Days of Books: The Struggle of Having Ideas

With each day of the 12 Days of Books Giveaway, I’m sharing a little about my writing journey so far. And, of course, new ways to enter to win!

"Where do your ideas come from?"

It's one of those questions every author (no, every creative) gets at some point. For some reason, we tend to think of ideas as these magical things that you have to have something special to acquire. Perhaps because we spend so much time focused on what is around us instead of what is inside us.

But ideas aren't some sort of alchemy performed by the chosen. Ideas are everywhere. They sit all around us, waiting to be picked up. Ideas are like coins in a special level of Mario Brothers.

The real question is, "How do you choose your ideas?"

This is much harder to do. It is much easier to catch an idea than it is to develop an idea--as I explained on Tuesday, my last idea took me five years to develop, and along the way I caught a ton more ideas, both for the rest of the Chronicles of the Third Realm War series and for complete new projects.

Even at a much faster writing pace of six months per novel, I have enough story ideas to fill my next six to ten years, easily.

So how do I pick what to chase? I try to consider factors like marketability and what readers will want, but ultimately it always comes down to what speaks to me.

I mean this quite literally. When I started writing Mud, the first few chapters came out at lightning speed, because Adem's voice nudged me right along, telling me his predicament (and then I had to figure out where that took him).

The same happened Rain. I did not initially intend to write any novellas to complement the Chronicles of the Third Realm War series, but Nia and Calipher's tempestuous, tragic romance clung to me ... and it proved itself to be the perfect way to bring you back into the origins of Terath's doomed fate.

I try to use my head in choosing my ideas, but it always ends up coming from my heart. Where my head comes in is in sticking with that idea long enough to turn it into something meaningful for readers.

Where do you find your ideas? 

New ways to win, every day until Christmas Eve

Today's way to enter: Leave a review for Mud on Amazon.

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