Not long ago I wrote here about where story ideas come from, and according to my blog stats that has been a fairly popular posting, so I thought I’d share a quick summary of where the story idea for my latest project titled “Sarah’s Place”, and due out on Amazon next month.
In all honesty, the inspiration for this story came from another book I recently read. No, of course I’m not stealing another’s story or idea. The book I read is a non-fiction “how to” tome of sorts published in 1978 called David St. Clair’s Lessons in Instant ESP.
I found the book among a large collection of strange and occult titles in a box of books I rescued from my father’s garage a while back. Books he didn’t believe would even be worthy of donation and planned to throw away. Of course, for a writer of strange tales like myself, books like these are like finding a pirate’s treasure map with the big “X” marked on it.
Of course there’s a lot (mostly all of the words) in this particular book for the average person to scoff at. It clearly was intended to capitalize on the (often drug rehab induced) spiritual awakening of Yipsters of the era.
But, for me it’s chapter after chapter of “what if’s” begging to be asked and answered at my keyboard.
For example, the story I’m just finishing the final edit on now, came after reading through a chapter in the book on meditating oneself into a secret place of consciousness. The book gives a long list of reasons why one might want to do this, at the core of all of them seems to be for finding peace and relaxation. I don’t need that, I’ve got dancing kittens on YouTube.
However, the little voice in my head that whispers story sparks to me (and by the way, St. Clair devotes an entire section of his book to describing that voice, what it is and where it comes from that’s worth the read for entertainment value), so my little voice darn near deafened me after I read the chapter on meditating to a secret place when it shouted “What if the consciousness of two people were to show up there at the same time? And what if one of them was mean? …bwaghahahahaha”
Yes, that’s really how my little voice laughs.
Finding that idea interesting, I tossed it around for a while, looking for a secondary idea I could marry it off to. That’s how I develop my stories, I take two ideas, one suited to external conflicts and the other suited to internal strife, and mesh them together.
When I finally had a secondary idea that also interested me, I went through the mechanical steps to figure out how I could intertwine the two ideas and then tie it all together with a subtle underlying thread that one might call a theme (again, all part of my story-dev process). Once I had that all worked out, I created and got to know the characters who would travel through the story with me, and began to write.
So, that’s the story behind the story for my latest work that I’ll be publishing through Amazon, and a candid accounting of my entire creative writing process from initial idea to first draft. After that it’s editing, rewriting, editing more…craft work.
I hope you’ll be watching for “Sarah’s Place” in the coming weeks, and if you’d like to be notified when it’s released you can always subscribe to my email list on the upper right of this page, I send out ZERO SPAM and only the occasional notice when a new story is released, if I have big news to share, or sometimes I might even offer subscribers a private treat as well.