Welcome to the official blog of Maumee Valley Romance Writers of America! We're a local writers' group in the Toledo, Ohio area. Most of us write romance, but we also have members who write other genres too. New members are always welcome to visit or join the group. See the meetings page for details. We post every Monday and Friday about all things book-related. Whether you're a writer, reader, or both, we hope you'll stop by often and get to know our dozen contributors.

Friday, September 23, 2011

A Rush of Ideas

Brainstorm opgewekTienen I love starting a new story. That part of the writing process where I’m figuring out who these characters are, what their lives have been like up until now, what they want for the future, what obstacles they’ll have to overcome, what they’ll discover about themselves, and how they’ll come out stronger in the end.

Oh, and how they’ll fall in love.

I love when the ideas come so fast, I can’t type quickly enough. A lot of those details will never make it into the story, but that free flow of ideas, playing “what if” with these new characters, always gets me excited to sit down and work on the story. I love falling in love with the main characters (as I hope my readers will). I love thinking about the setting and the scenes and how the story will end.

I also love the revising phase where I layer in the emotions, setting descriptions, backstory elements, and more, but there’s nothing like that rush of getting the initial ideas down on paper. I’ll eventually take those ideas and put together a formal outline, but until that point there’s no pressure to produce something useable right out of the gate. That permission to think outside the box and not worry about whether something will work or not work allows me to really free up my creative side, to play with ideas I might not otherwise consider. Not that I don’t do that sort of discovery when I’m writing the rough draft, but before I even get to that point, this free-form brainstorming feels like less pressure.

It’s the time to really have fun with the story. It’s the time to let my imagination wander as it often wants to do (even when it shouldn’t: while I’m doing final line edits on an already written story). It’s the time where I can listen to music and let the scenes play out in my mind.

It’s the time where I remember why I love writing.

This weekend a group of us are getting together to brainstorm story ideas. As much fun as I have doing that myself, it’s even more enjoyable and entertaining and helpful when a group of writers work together. I can’t wait to see what everyone comes up with this year.

What about you other writers? Do you love the start of a new story? What is your favorite part of writing?

Sloan Parker has been writing and playing with fictional characters for years but finally found true passion sharing stories about two men (or more) falling in love. Sloan loves to explore the lives of people who are growing as individuals while falling in love. You can learn more about Sloan and her work at www.sloanparker.com


Em-Musing said...

I love when a new story pops into my head out of nowhere! It's like, Hey? Where did you come from? And then it's like a mystery to me how the story will unfold. LOve when that happens1

Constance Phillips said...

Yay for brainstorming! I'm counting down the minutes. Great post, Sloan, and like you, I love the beginnings. So much more fun than the revising/editing part.

Ayda Recknagel said...

So far we're all on the same page here... I love it when the characters start to show themselves to me, talk to me, tell me their stories and give me clues about why they want to fall in love with the other person so badly. It's like getting to fall in love all over again through them. What a rush!

Patrice Kavanaugh said...

Waaahhhh! I will miss you all at brainstorming this weekend (but will take you up on your generous offers to help me brainstorm when I get back.) Great post, Sloan! Have fun this weekend.

Ellis Carrington said...

I love the rush of starting a new story. In fact, I love it so much I have to focus hard to stay on task and not get sidetracked by the new exciting idea while I'm finishing the one I'm already working on. ;-p

Sloan Parker said...

A mystery is a great way to describe it, Em. That time of discovery when you play around with those new ideas is such fun.

Connie, I hope you had fun at brainstorming. I always come away having learned something new. I love seeing how everyone thinks and watching the stories come together as people build off each other’s ideas.

Ayda: Well said! That’s why I love writing romance. You can go through all those emotions and the intensity of new love again and again. Definitely a rush.

Thanks, Patrice. We missed you at the brainstorming. We definitely need to find a time when we can get together to work out the ideas for your WIP.

Ellis: This is exactly what I’m going through now. A new story has come to life and I’m taking down the ideas so I’ll have it ready to get started on after my current WIP, but it’s so hard to resist digging in with that new story until the old one is completed.