06-18 Sarah Raplee – WHY PSYCHIC AGENTS?

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Using our Environment for Story and Character Ideas

Dear readers

One of the questions I’m frequently asked when people learn I’m a writer is, ‘How do you come up with your story ideas.’

Ideas flow thick and fast for me, however writing the story is the hard work.

The environment we live in is my inspiration. I use songs, movies, television programs, celebrities, and people I meet or know.

I use movies and TV to see what themes are popular. I love looking at modern day issues and then thinking what would that scenario be like in the Regency era.
Movies of course often look at classics like Shakespeare and put a modern twist on it.

In addition, a movie I love I’ll try and put my own twist on it and set it in the Regency period. For instance, I am looking at writing a Regency story a bit like No Mercy. I find the idea of a ‘lady’ virtually sold as a child an interesting concept and how she’d rise above that.

In my contemporaries, I like using themes that are a bit deeper.  In THE RELUCTANT WIFE, RomCon Readers' Crown 2013 Best Short Contemporary, I
selected a topic close to my heart; endometriosis and the impact this can have on a woman’s life.

A lyric in a song can also trigger an idea. Country songs in particular as they are often filled with heartache.

I guess, because my mind is always filled with stories, I tend to look at the world around me as a potential story. I’m one of these people that would be quite content sitting at a railway station, or the airport, watching people interacting and trying to imagine their stories.  I find it sad, for instance, when I see couples out for dinner and they spend the whole meal not saying a word to each other. Is it comfortable silence, or have they simply nothing to share with each other anymore? I find my imagination working overtime when I see this. I try to write a story that would see them find their spark again.

With my over-active imagination I never feel lonely. Characters are always popping in to say hello and keep me company.

How about you? Are you a people watcher? What’s your favorite place for people watching?


Paty Jager said...

I am a people watcher! I like to sit at the back of the room or the wall opposite the door and have an eye on the rest of the room so I can see everyone and watch them. I can watch people everywhere. It's also fun to sit in a car in a parking lot and watch people.

Like you, I get my ideas from everywhere! And more than I can write. Congrats on the Reader's Choice Award!

Judith Ashley said...

I am also a people watcher. Years ago, a friend of mine and I would be at a restaurant and guess what profession(s) other diners were. We'd make up stories about their lives and sometimes, one of us would approach the people and ask them where they worked as a way of ascertaining if we were right or not.

Bronwen Evans said...

Hi ladies

I love people watching too and I also like ot think about their lives.

Ditto the Readers Choice, Paty

Sarah Raplee said...

Yes, I am a people watcher, too! Waiting rooms, lines in store, airports, parks - pretty much anywhere. And I do get ideas for stories from watching.

Also from just about anywhere else, LOL. News stories, local history,movies, thin air...

Diana Mcc. said...

Congrats on the award, Browen!! I like people watching. I do it every where! I like eavesdropping too. Believe it or not, I've gotten some interesting stories sitting in the ladies rest room. Cafes where you sit in booths and can listen to the conversation behind you is another great story idea generator.