One of the questions I am most frequently asked is, “Where do you get your ideas?” Really, any novel length work is a compilation of many ideas over a long period of time. But, how do we remember those little influences? I create what my husband calls The War Room. Here is a photo of my War Room for With a Name Like Love:
I jot down a word or turn of phrase that I like and put those, along with other idea prompts, onto a poster board. Then, as I’m writing, I can look up and find snippets of ideas to keep me going. For example, one of the words on these posters is “inky”. One day, I was trying to write a scene, but felt lost on the specifics. I chose the word “inky” and wrote a whole story around it. It is the part of my novel where Ollie (my main character) takes a walk out into the field with her daddy. It is nighttime and she is feeling sad about something that happened earlier that day. Here is the result of my inspiration:
“There, under the inky sky, Ollie’s daddy began to sing. He sang low and soft. He sang the welcome song she had chosen that evening, Rock of Ages, because he knew it was her favorite. And as he sang, Ollie cried.”
The whole scene was built around a simple word that I had jotted down on a piece of paper and taped up onto my office wall! In the past, I tried to keep word and idea journals but found them difficult to reference as I was writing. Having those things right in front of me has made all the difference.
Tess is generously offering a copy of her novel along with some swag to a lucky winner here at Bookworm Lisa This is for US and Canadian addresses only.
To enter: As always you must be at least 13 to enter. Leave your name and email in a comment. Simple. If you would like an extra entry you can follow Tess on GFC on her blog. (Click on the word "blog" to get there.) Just let me know in the comment that you went over there and are a follower. Two max entries. You can even leave the info in the same comment. The contest will run through November 4th. Thanks for stopping by and enter now! You do want to read it. (I want to read it too.) Good Luck!
Here is the book description from Goodreads: When Ollie’s daddy, the Reverend Everlasting Love, pulls their travel trailer into Binder to lead a three-day revival, Ollie knows that this town will be like all the others they visit— it is exactly the kind of nothing Ollie has come to expect. But on their first day in town, Ollie meets Jimmy Koppel, whose mother is in jail for murdering his father. Jimmy insists that his mother is innocent, and Ollie believes him. Still, even if Ollie convinces her daddy to stay in town, how can two kids free a grown woman who has signed a confession? Ollie’s longing for a friend and her daddy’s penchant for searching out lost souls prove to be a formidable force in this tiny town where everyone seems bent on judging and jailing without a trial.