The question I get asked most often is, “How do you come up with your stories?” The answer is simple: ANY WAY POSSIBLE. Life is full of inspiration. You just have to slow down and look around and there are stories everywhere. Taking one simple idea and expanding it in your mind (or on paper) can lead to fantastic plots and complicated characters. You’ve simply got to find what inspires you.
With BEAUTIFUL ADDICTIONS, it all started with a dream. It was a dark dream. A girl sketching in an alley and a boy comes in. He’s angry and takes out his anger against the bricks. She hides away and watches him. The moon suddenly shines down like a spotlight and they are revealed, the voyeur and her subject. The moment is intense, but disappointing when he walks away.
I woke from that dream feeling heavy and overwhelmed. I wrote down everything I could remember. It was then tucked away in a notebook for a few months until I stumbled across it again. As soon as I revisited this dream, I was able to see these two characters. I imagined a connected past and dangerous love. I wrote a story and then fleshed out the subplots and details with a friend.
How the dream of one tiny scene morphed into an entire novel, I’ll never be able to say. There was no process set in stone, there were no rules to follow or map to guide me. I wrote it and then wrote it again. I added characters and intertwined them in the most interesting way possible. I erased the middle and wrote it again.
For me, writing is a lengthy process of layering. I’m not an outliner. That seems too rigid and formal for me. I write a basic draft. Then I rewrite it and add emotions, reactions. Then I’ll rewrite it and add details and scenery, descriptive imagery to put you in the story. That’s just me. Every writer has their own process.
Once you’ve found your inspiration, that tiny nagging feeling that tells you “this moment is bigger than it appears,” then all you’ve got to do is get it out of your head and onto paper. Embrace that notion and hold on for dear life. Before you know it, you won’t be writing the story, it will be writing itself.