A writer can come up with an idea for a story from almost anywhere: things our kids say or do, a boarded up building, a conversation we can’t help overhearing, the lady in front of us at the grocery store, a news article. Luckily for us, the sources are endless.
As with most of my stories, my young adult novel Embrace started with a scene of a teenage girl that kept replaying itself in my head for weeks - it might have been months - and I'm not really sure why I kept seeing her. I'd imagined this girl sprinting through the halls at school trying to reach her locker before anyone saw her. The soft steady click of heels against the tiled floor wasn’t far behind her. I started to ask myself who is this girl and why is she in such a hurry. It didn’t take long for Madison to be born and I soon found myself asking more questions like how did she get to this point in her life and what is she hiding. With each set of answers came more questions until I finally sat down and started writing. Ironically, the original scene that had been percolating in my thoughts for weeks never made it into the book, but it did give birth to one of my favorite chapters.
I don’t work from a written outline, although I usually do have a beginning, middle and end in mind when I start writing a book. Embrace was an exception, though. I started in the middle of Madison’s story and worked backwards. Once I knew who she was and what was important to her, I was able to write the opening chapters. As I did, the end of the book became clear.
Where'd the idea for you latest work-in-progress come from?