How Do You Start A Story?
It’s post 29 for #LivingLoving Writing and for this one I thought I would answer a craft question. This question is asked a lot, so although everyone has a different answer, here’s mine: setting.
I know it sounds crazy, but settings are a muse for me. It’s usually the idea of a location that sparks the initial thoughts. For example, the Hale Brothers series takes place on Anna Maria Island. It is my favorite beach in the whole world. When I’m there, the stories ideas seem to come to me by the handful. Currently, four of my eight stories visit this beach, and I’m also plotting another series that takes place there as well. (Rubs hands together excitedly).
As for Blue Horizons, I also love the mountains. There’s something about driving the Blue Ridge Parkway with the windows down and the music blaring that feeds my soul. And who doesn’t want a getaway home on a lake. Just the idea of it makes me want to light a fire and drink some coffee.
We used to live in Chicago, so I’m very familiar with Michigan Ave, and one night I had an idea come to me where my heroine is standing on the street and it’s a life changing moment for her. (I’m a third of the way done with this one!)
My current work in progress sparked from a photo author Kandi Steiner posted. She lives in Tampa near me, and for years my family has floated this river as well. The waters are blue green, the manatees flock here in the winter, and it’s so beautiful you just want to lay in a hammock and listen to the river float by. In thinking about this river, I thought how amazing would it be to create a fictional town on this river and have my main heroine move there to fix up an old house.
The winery, football, southern towns, a house boat, these are things that inspire me and spark my creative ideas. Once the I understand the setting, it’s from there the characters take flight. It’s easy to write about something you know and love. If you’re looking to start somewhere, I’d start there.
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