I wrote a blog entitled “It’s a mystery,” awhile back. I’m having the same experience again, because I’ve started a new novel. People often ask writers where their ideas come from. Sometimes we know, more often we don’t. How does that work? I’ll use my novel Desert Soliloquy as an example.
I got the overall idea from visiting the ghost town, Calico, located in the High Desert of California off Interstate 15, heading toward Las Vegas. I fell in love with the town and knew it would be a great template as a setting for a novel. Consequently, those who have visited Calico recognize the buildings in my story as the historical buildings that are still there. My fictional town is called Odessa.
So that’s a question I can answer. The rest, not so much. I decided to have the main character go to the town (not renovated) that is owned by her ex-husband, Charles. She’s supposed to meet him there. As I started writing, however, Charles didn’t show up. It turns out he had been kidnapped and stashed in one of the abandoned mines in the mountain.
After I wrote a few chapters, I knew that I had to get the guy out of the mountain, but I didn’t have a clue how to do that realistically, so I put the manuscript away and started my ghost story, Promises to Keep. A year and a half later, I suddenly thought of a way to get him out and went back to working on the manuscript. The rest of the story simply evolved. By that I mean I just let one chapter lead into the next and allowed the story to happen.
If you think I’m strange, I can assure you that I’ve talked to many writers who write exactly the same way. An idea “just comes” to them, and they write it down. Of course, there are also others, like SciFi writers, who outline and know exactly what is going to happen.
I’m allowing my new storyline to evolve the same way. I thought I knew who was going to get killed in my latest book, but lo and behold, it turned out to be someone else. I have an idea about what will happen with some of my characters, but who knows, they may rebel and take me in another direction.
Does this sound like I don’t know what I’m doing?
How does this work? I have no idea.
It’s a mystery.
And I love it!
Link to the Haverford Trilogy: Promises to Keep, Lydia, True Abundance, and my mystery, Desert Soliloquy on Amazon: http://ow.ly/HXHE3
If you would like to read the articles on my website, go to http://www.libbygrandy.com
Twitter handle is: @LibbyGrandy