One question I get asked often as soon as I mention that I’m a romance writer is, “Where do you get your ideas?” That is a much easier question to answer rather than the ubiquitous, “What’s your book about?” Almost all my stories have started as a picture. Yes, you heard correctly; a simple, inspiring picture.
My small group of women writers shares a Facebook page which we have used as a cyber writing-club. Our fierce leader posts three prompts every Monday. One of them is always a picture. Jenn is a professional photographer and has a great eye for good visuals. Her chosen pictures never cease to incite great ideas.
Loved You Always started with one of those photos, a simple idea for a piece of flash fiction. By the time I was finished with the one-thousand odd word story I had fallen in love with my two main characters and I had to see their story through.
Those who follow my blog know I’m an incurable (and shameless) pantser. The few times in my life I’ve planned a story, I never really stuck to the plan. I find that my characters guide me as I write. In the words of the great Madeleine D’Engle, inspiration usually comes to me during work, not before it. So it was that while I’m writing this fun and sweet love story between two best friends a couple other equally lovable characters popped into my head.
My sister is and always was my best friend and, even though she is not crazy and wild like Celia, she does have a tendency to believe in spells and magic. It was only natural she would be “reincarnated” in part as Emily Rose’s younger and irreverent sister.
Marcy, the witch, was supposed to be in just one scene, but by the time I finished writing it I was hooked. With her zany sense of style and comical wisdom she became irresistible to me. So much so, I’m seriously considering writing her own romance. I have to give Marcy her own happy-ever-after.
As I write my current WIP (another photo-inspired story) I’m reminded that the only thing that separates writers from the totally insane is the fact that writers know the voices in their heads are fictional while the mad…well, not so much. I hope my voices keep talking to me for many years to come and that people are willing to listen to their stories.