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Where Do Stories Come From?

Charting the creative process is unique. For me, it’s some work, some fun, some inspiration.

At times, my publisher will put out a special call for a particular subject, say, for example, a billionaire story.

And there begins the journey.

How fun would a billionaire be? This man isn’t just rich, he’s super rich. He can afford anything. But surely, that kind of wealth also brings about challenges.  How could a man be sure the woman cares for him, not his wealth? And complicate all that with his need for BDSM. Surely he wouldn’t want the entire world to know about his predilection! So where would he find a woman who loved him and was okay with his lifestyle?

And who is the heroine? She has to strong and secure in herself. And she has to have a taste for submission.

From the fun ideas, the work begins.

I generally do a brainstorming session with a trusted colleague, someone who knows the market, understands the structure of the story, and, most importantly, has ideas different from mine.

Then I sit with a pen and paper. I make a list of things that could happen in the story.

From there, I decide which events create the most compelling story, add to the conflict, test the characters.

I’m not what some refer to as a pantster. I tend to figure out a story in advance. I have found it much easier to keep details straight and to make sure the story doesn’t veer off in an unexpected direction. That’s not to say that cool stuff doesn’t unfold along the way!

To me, it’s like taking a road trip, like I did recently. I know I’m going from Denver to New Mexico, and I know how long it will take. That doesn’t mean I can’t stop at a wildlife viewing area along the way. Or eat at a place that has delicious green chili rather than a fast food restaurant. But it means I always know where I am, where I’m going, and how to get there.

To me, the creative process is an interesting one. No book unfolds in exactly the same way.  But there’s comfort as I begin the journey into the unknown again. (And part of the adventure is definitely choosing names for the characters!)

Whatever your creative journey is, I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!  

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