Sunday 26 June 2011

The Ideas Fairy

I haven't spent much of my blogging time talking about the process of writing, and a lot of time talking about me writing. There are a couple of reasons for this, predominantly most of my early followers are my friends (coerced here from Facebook), and most of my friends are not writers so the process wouldn't be that interesting to them.

Another reason is the fact that I don't think there's much I can say about writing that would add to the myriad of more competent and professional writers. I am not a professional, although I long to be so. Maybe my blog just doesn't have a place on the interwebby thing, but - tough! - I'm enjoying myself :-)

Today I've been thinking about where ideas for stories come from. I remember years ago reading someone (and I have no idea if this was a writer, publisher, agent or interested other) say that the majority of first novels are autobiograpical. (I think, in this context, majority implied all). I've written 3 complete novels, and I'm half-way through a fourth - all unpublished, it goes without saying. None of them have been autobiographical. I'm reasonably proud to think I haven't fallen into the first-time author trap.

So, if not autobiographical, where have my ideas come from? Mostly from what-if scenarios. From a young age my imagination was very active. I remember wondering what would happen if my dad didn't come home from work, if a plane crashed into my garden, if I discovered a long-lost cousin was the singer for the latest boy band. That last one turned into my first novel, as I mentioned briefly in the comments of this post.

I used to lie in bed at night trying not to have these thoughts, especially the ones about family members dying horrible deaths. I thought I'd tempt fate - my mother was always talking about tempting fate, and this seemed exactly what I was doing. Over the years, I've figured out I'm not likely to cause the end of the world as I know it by having a few daydreams, but it's still one of my most lucrative sources of ideas!


  1. I'm a 'what if' girl too. You start off with one little thing and then think 'but what if this...and then that..'. Works for me!

    As my first novel is about a 16 year old boy and I'm a 41 year old woman, I'm going to go out on a limb and say it's not autobiographical :)

  2. Oooh, 16 year old boys are a difficult species! Why do we inserted ourselves into these personas? Having said that, the first sex scene ever I wrote was from a male point of view - that was quite hard too (if you excuse the very obvious pun)!

  3. I'm the same as you with my blog Annalisa. It's not a writing blog, but a blog about my journey in the quest for publication. So it's a writers blog. The posts are personal in nature, they are my feelings and thoughts as I go through this and I occasionally throw in some none writerly life issues. Writing this novel is a big part of my life and I find it really great to share that with people who understand how it is and how it feels. I look forward to following you on your journey.

  4. You're right, Rebecca, I hadn't thought of it in like that for a long time. Thinking back, though, I started this blog because I was hoping at some point that a major project/success would present itself, and I would find it so interesting to be able to read back over the process. I feel much better about my blog now, thanks for that :-)

  5. Yeah, my blog is rather personal-esque too. It's still new, so I'm not entirely sure what is going on other there. :/

    I guess you could say my current WIP is maybe a smidgen autobiographical (except, I'm not a cyborg), but my previous work, not really. I have no experience in being a Mom. Or a dragon. But I'm also a 'what if' lying in bed/daydreaming while walking type of gal. But those are totally fantasies that will never make it to writing as they're mostly about grand noble sacrifices I make for others or favorite characters getting into awful, painful situations.


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