HOW TO DEVELOP A WRITING PROCESS
One of the most frequent questions I get asked is how I come up with my ideas. I hadn’t thought about it much because usually they just come and then my pen responds in kind. But that doesn’t help the novice writer out too much.
In fact, I often find myself wondering the same thing about the greats: Robin Cook, Stephen King, and the JD Rob types (whom I haven’t read much of but I do respect). I mention these few because they come out with different types of books — not just selling one mega story such as Game of Thrones or Harry Potter. It’s much simpler to continue a story that has begun, but more difficult to create fresh characters and a fresh new plotline that people still want to read.
I’m working on several WIPs that I haven’t made much mention of, so for the sake of clarity, I will keep away from those for now and highlight The Girl with the Scar.
This saga is about a young girl, Genevieve Solace, who has been hunted by a king for fifteen years, and she knows that he is getting closer to finding her.
The entire work birthed from the idea of: What would it look like to write a story where inner passion had a magical persona – where ambition was not just a notion, but a presence?
This concept seems rather nebulous at first glance, but I took some time to mull over what implications such a notion would have in a world ruled by a king and terrorized by his Raiders.
Without revealing too much of the story, I wanted the “face of ambition” to be hidden, not just from Genevieve, but from everyone else in the world too. I felt like that was similar to the world we live in now. Each of us has a passion deep within us, that if released, the potential of the passion could literally impact the world.
My personal passion is writing – something that I’ve always loved, but also something that I had never shared with the world until two years ago when I first released The Pioneers.
So I took this idea – the idea of the “face of ambition” – and I morphed it into a story.
USING THIS SAME CONCEPT
Now let’s take this same principle and see where it can apply to your WIP. Perhaps you don’t want to go as deep as this and you only want to tell a story that has no underlying meaning. It works much the same way.
Let’s say you want to write a novel about a wizard who casts fire. Easy enough right. Well, there have to be limitations to his fire, or else he could potentially burn down the entire world with no consequence. Begin by thinking about what his limitations are and what they prevent him from doing – how they affect him.
If casting a fire spells means that he has to root himself to the ground to draw power, then that means that to defeat him, all a person would need to do would be to get behind him or to flee away from him. This could create some interesting battles and interesting conflicts all of which are based solely on your wizard’s limits.
I will continue with my writing process next time. Let me know what your thoughts are.