I’m back for another Q&A Sunday with a question from Aliana…
How do you come up with the plots of your stories or the center of a series?
Do you draw from personal experience or pure imagination?
I love this question! I have to tell you I have more ideas than I have time to write, which is a great problem! I’ll get to them all eventually, I hope!
I almost always start a plot idea with a title. I don’t know why but titles almost always come to me before I start a story. Once I have a title the story starts to take shape. I like my series titles to all work together so when I have one title the rest fall into place. If the others don’t fall into place and make sense then I start over until I can come up with enough to make sense for the whole series.
Pieces of the story will usually fall into place based on the title, but most of my stories also have a scene or even the idea based on a song. I listen to country music which is full of love stories gone wrong and people falling in love. Even one line in a song has sparked an idea!
Once I have my title and my inspiration, the rest gets filled in with a mix of my experiences and imagination. Even though I’d love to say I’ve done everything my characters have done, I honestly haven’t. But I have done some fun things and used those in my stories.
When I was 21 I went skydiving, which is what Cat’s experience in Wait For It was based on.
I’ve taken a few trips to the Grand Canyon like Claire and Aidan in Lush & Lovely.
The house Xander, from Chubby & Charming, grew up in is the same one I grew up in.
I have a neighbor upstairs that you’ll read about in Wish For It!
I even broke my ankle white water rafting and have no doubt a character someday will do the same!
The majority of the stories is usually just my imagination though. I put in little parts of myself into each story. Whether names of people I know, situations I’ve heard or been in, or things that I’m familiar with. I’m always looking for inspiration though. I make up stories about the people I see out. There were two cute brothers behind me in church one day and they became the Davoli brothers! A bodybuilder at the gym is Graham (in the upcoming Puffy & Precious). I’ll turn anyone I see into an upcoming character, but don’t piss me off or I might have to start writing romantic suspense so I can kill you off!