This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Alex C Vick will be awarding a $50 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.
Before I begin, thank you very much to Long and Short Reviews for inviting me to write a guest post today!
I loved this suggested topic as soon as I saw it. Just one deceptively simple question calls to mind all that is amazing, yet terrifying about writing. Everything must inevitably begin with an idea. My own experience is obviously unique to me, but that basic challenge is the same for every writer.
Some days it’s a challenge that I barely glance at before I dive into my story and begin typing the next scene. Other days it lurks on my shoulder like a kind of small, spiteful monster, with a smirk that only gets bigger when I can’t come up with a single sentence.
Therefore, the question of where ideas come from (and more importantly how to find them when they refuse to show up!) is a very interesting one.
Before I start a new book, there has to be something that grabs my attention. A hook to get me excited about writing it. It might be a question that I really want to know the answer to. Then, a character might turn up in my head with a line or two of dialogue that I find intriguing. Finally, there might be a scene in the middle or end of the story that I can already picture.
Then, I write the book. I am not a planner, which means that I figure out the rest of my ideas as I go along. With or without the monster on my shoulder!
But where do they come from? The attention grabbers, unfortunately, are outside of any conscious control. I just make them up. They arrive in my head at a time of their choosing. If I actively search for them, they are nowhere to be found. In fact, the harder I look, the better they hide.
Stephen King described it perfectly:
“Let’s get one thing clear right now, shall we? There is no Idea Dump, no Story Central, no Island of the Buried Bestsellers; good story ideas seem to come quite literally from nowhere, sailing at you right out of the empty sky.”
However, I try to do what I can to help the process along. I read a lot. I pay attention to the world around me. I notice similarities and differences. I visit new places and meet new people, at work and outside of work. I take a lot of photographs and play around with perspective. I actively research historical subjects that interest me. As long as I keep my eyes wide open, and take an interest in life and living, I hope there will be enough going on inside my head to produce an idea when I need one.
The rest is just persistence. Keep writing. Keep going. As Neil Gaiman says:
“This is how you do it: you sit down at the keyboard and you put one word after another until it’s done. It’s that easy, and that hard.”
The great thing about writing fiction is that there’s no right or wrong answer. I am in awe of the amazing creativity shown by my favorite authors. As a reader, I enjoy discovering new worlds and stories, but I also love reading a new take on characters and situations that already exist. How would you describe your reading choices? Do you have a favorite kind of story?
Thank you for reading, and thank you again to Long and Short Reviews for featuring my post!
Shannon thought there was no such thing as real magic. Until that day. The day that changed everything.
Put yourself in her shoes. Would you open your eyes, if you were the one that heard them? Two magic-takers from another world, arguing about whether they can collect what they came for before you wake up. It sounds like a crazy dream, or a practical joke.
But what if the air around you started to vibrate with an invisible force field? What if, all at once, it felt scary, yet familiar too? You would have no way of knowing that this discovery would set you on a path no-one from our world has taken for centuries. Towards a deadly enemy, and a fight you will almost certainly lose.
All you know is that your heart is beating so fast you’re worried they will hear it, and your brain is starting to buzz as the force field reaches it. Would you open your eyes?
Join Jax and Shannon as they live through the most exciting and terrifying ten days of their lives!
Read an Excerpt:
Jax reacted first, grabbing Shannon and Darius by the arms and pulling them backwards towards the bookshelves. They ran deep into one of the sections, as far as they could go, not stopping until they reached the end. Staring anxiously at each other, hearts pounding with fear, they waited to hear who had come through the door.
There was no sound at first. Whoever had entered the room had done so with silent footsteps. Then there was an exclamation of discovery, and a man’s voice could be heard calling “Dorian? Can you come in here for a moment?”
Apparently Dorian was the Custodian who had been sitting outside. A short conversation then took place, but the voices were too quiet for Jax, Shannon and Darius to hear what was being discussed. It was soon clear what had happened however.
The same man’s voice was raised to say “You might as well show yourself, I know there is someone in here. And I also know you are not permitted. I can recognise that the Treaty has been read just a few moments ago, but Dorian tells me he has seen no-one gain entry this night.”
There was a pause, and then the voice continued, becoming angrier.
“Come now, this is a waste of my time and yours. I will find you, and you will not enjoy the methods I will use.”
Jax had gone completely white. He recognised the voice as belonging to Marcus. For a few seconds he tried to think frantically of a way that they could escape, but almost straight away he realised that it was impossible.
About the Author:
Alex writes contemporary fantasy books for a middle grade audience and older. There are three (self-contained) stories in the Legacy of Androva series so far, with a fourth on the way. You can contact Alex, and find more information about Androva, including a character interview, at her website.
Alex lives in the South of England with her husband and two daughters. When she’s not working, or writing about magic, she also loves reading and photography.