The Idea Factory

One of the questions that authors hear most often is, “Where do you get your ideas?” The truth is that ideas are everywhere. The trick is in figuring out which ones have the right amount of conflict, interest, and oomph to become a book. (And yes, oomph is the technical term.)

This past weekend, while on a writing retreat (pics coming next week), I set aside part of each day to work on concepts for new books. I relied on four main sources of guidance:

1. Previous books. All of these potential new books would spring off from previous works.This gave me some history, characters, and settings to start with.

2. A list I’ve compiled from various sources of classic romance tropes – situations or plot devices that throw the hero and heroine together. We’re talking things like arranged marriage stories, friends to lovers stories (one of my favorites), fake relationships, mistaken identity stories, stranded-together stories, etc. high concept

3. A fabulously helpful book, Got High Concept, by Lori Wilde. Lori does an amazing job of helping shape and mold ideas for maximum ooomph. Highly recommended.

4. Last but absolutely not least, my brainstorming buddies – Gayle Callen, MJ Compton, Carol Lombardo, and Christine Wenger. These ladies not only know me and my work, I can trust them to bring both their years of publishing experience and their honest responses to any discussion of writing. (Or life, for that matter.)

With the help of these invaluable sources, I was able to come up with six kick-ass premises that I am excited to send to my agent and editor. Cross your fingers for me!