Thursday, July 21, 2011

Finding New Story Ideas

It's Talia's fault. Well, and CJ's. And now, I'm over my head with a new genre. Do you ever have random inspiration--a myriad of events leading to that one special moment?

I'd love to construct a time-line of exactly how it happened to me, but I don't rightly know.
Mystical CJ

This is a black and white film.
What I do know is that CJ Duggan got me thinking about Paranormal romance with her story "This Life." The portion I read reminded me of the The Ghost and Mrs. Muir--in an homage way, not a copy way. (Click on the link above to watch the movie trailer. Gene Tierney is too beautiful for words and her daughter is a young Natalie Wood. But I digress...) Even in draft form, CJ's story had that quality pulling me in.

Nosferatu, Nishi?
You know who else's fault this is? Nishi Serrano's. See, I'm a Neil Gaiman fan (a total newbie with much left to read) and so I pay attention when bloggers/authors like him. One such example is Nishi Serrano. After I made the Gaiman connection, I became hooked to her blog. It also has that je nais se quoi that pulls me in. Her examination of her writing is a fun read for me, further tantalizing me with a different type of story than I usually write. So CJ and Nishi each got me thinking what would I write, if I wrote paranormal or urban fantasy?

I know, right? Kickass, Tania.
The final culprit--the required element to take me from curiosity to novel premise was Tania of Not only does she engage in these tantalizing genres, she also writes marvelous Mythical Creature posts as she searches out new characters for her novels. She generously shares her research and being a mythology nut, I look forward to these posts A LOT.

So one day I'm reading, minding my own business, when BAM curiosity met inspiration and BOOM, I had a story. (Doesn't that sound Greek? Zeus BAM meet Leda BOOM produce Helen of Troy.)

I've had a theme lurking around several burgeoning stories. It's basic so I wondered if I could push it and write a paranormal or urban fantasy. It was amidst this perfect chemistry when one of Talia's Mythical Creature posts answered with a resounding, "Yes!"

As you may recall, I'm already working on a project--pondered in depth over two posts. I've made progress, but am drawn to this new story. So I've set aside AD and penned a crazy new idea. The working title is "Wanderlust." (How many stories already claim that name, I wonder?)

I drew the shape of the story as two unrelated plots converging at the end with a single linear plot bringing it all together. Now I've ceased to ponder and intend to just write (keeping in mind the supportive chant from earlier comments).

So now I have some questions for all of you:
  1. What are some books I should read? I loved "American Gods" by Neil Gaiman so I want to use that as a guide.
  2. What or who has inspired you lately? 
  3. Any bloggers you want to give a shout out about? 
  4. Any particular posts that summoned your muse? Answer here or write a post and please, link back!