Where Do You Get Your Ideas?

When Nora Roberts gives a speech or a workshop and entertains questions at the end, one of her friends always pipes up, “Where do you get your ideas?” She groans and nods her head in that way she does, and gives some witty response.

Because this is the unanswerable question, isn’t it? We writers have no idea where our story ideas come from.

Last Monday I turned in Book 3 of the Soldiers Series and so this is idea time for me. I may have said this before, but I don’t have lots of story ideas like some writers. Mine come one book at a time and never easily. I need to come up with a story idea for the next book, though, the book connected to The Diamonds of Welbourne Manor, Leo’s story. Leo is the youngest son of the Fitzmanning miscellany and all I knew of him from the anthology was that he loved horses. I’d always kinda figured I’d make him own a horse farm.

But Deb’s Diamonds hero also is involved with horses, so my editor thought one book with horses was enough. Now what do I do?

If he has to lose his horse farm, I’ll make him lose it in some horrible, dramatic way at the beginning of the story (glimmer of an idea…..)

Some time ago, I watched the old, Depression era movie My Man Godfrey which is about a down-and-out vagrant who becomes a wealthy family’s butler, but he really was once a wealthy society man himself. Great movie. Maybe a Regency version of the movie could become Leo’s story!

No. Not with his loving siblings, but maybe I could make Leo down-and-out, a dissipated rake, tortured after the loss of his farm. (Leo’s starting to come to life, but I don’t have a heroine…)


Then the other night I after watching my current favorite TV show, Say Yes To The Dress, a new show came on. Left At The Altar. This show tells the real life stories of men and women who were literally left at the altar, their spouse to be runs out at the last moment.

How devastating!
How perfect!

I’ll make Leo leave his bride at the altar. (But I still don’t know who she is….)

Of course, I need a “hook.” I talked about hooks in last week’s Diane’s Blog, those classic romance plots we see over and over again. Leo’s story certainly is shaping up to be Reunion Story, but I’m toying with making it a Woman In Jeopardy story, too. Leo has to save the bride he once jilted….

Problem is…I still don’t know who the heroine is or why she was jilted.

But I’m getting there! The idea is taking shape. And the answer to the question, “Where do you get your ideas?” is here, there, and everywhere! (and way too many from TV)

Sooooo, do you have any ideas for who my heroine should be???

Chivalrous Captain, Rebel Mistress may appear on your bookstore shelves this week. I wonder who will have the first sighting?

Join me on Thursday at Diane’s Blog when I’ll take you to a Tank Museum! And stop by Pink Heart Society today for Male on Monday with Michelle Willingham and me.

About diane

Diane Gaston is the RITA award-winning author of Historical Romance for Harlequin Historical and Mills and Boon, with books that feature the darker side of the Regency. Formerly a mental health social worker, she is happiest now when deep in the psyches of soldiers, rakes and women who don’t always act like ladies.
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