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Posts tagged ‘muse’

Ideas for a Novel: Where do they come from and how can we find them?

A common question that I’m often asked is, “Where do you get your ideas for your writing?”  With NaNoWriMo upon us, many are asking, “How do you decide on an idea worthy of a dedicated month or year of effort?” I mentioned in the About Me section that I’ve known since I was young that I wanted to write.  I spent hours locked away in my room as a kid devouring the words of Thomas Hardy, Louisa May Alcott, Shakespeare, Judy Blume, Alice Walker.  You name it and I wanted to read it.  Reading inspired me.  I wanted to read more and I wanted to write. I always said:

If someday I can, through just the right combination of words, make someone feel the way some of my favorite authors have made me feel, I will consider my life successful.

The problem? I knew that I wanted to write.  I just didn’t know what I wanted to write about.  I had that same question that many of you do. Non-fiction came easy – and still does.  Fiction was more challenging.  All of my ideas felt cliche or overdone. I was convinced that I didn’t have muse.  It took me a long time to realize that the muse has to be nurtured.  Mine especially likes Peppermint Patties when I’m on deadline.  Sweet treats or not, a muse doesn’t just show up and hand you ideas on a silver platter.  She drops hints along the way, and it’s our job as writers to follow the breadcrumbs one by one to a great story.

Once my muse who claimed to be shy for so long suddenly decided she was an extrovert, I was swamped with more ideas for fiction than I could possibly write in a lifetime.  I was shocked because I didn’t know what had happened to open these floodgates.  Was it a wealth of life experiences? Probably. Was it the maturity that comes with a career and parenthood? Possibly.  Or had I tapped into something more important? Definitely. Read more

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