Saturday, January 9, 2010

Where do you get your ideas?

Writers are always being asked where we get our ideas.

Sometimes it’s an unanswerable question: the idea just comes.

Sometimes it’s easy – the subplot of In the Shadow of the Glacier is about a spate of bike thefts. That subplot was added after I had my brand new bike stolen and I needed to get some revenge on the thief.

What brings this to mind is that I had minor day surgery on Thursday. I woke up in the recovery room and looked around and immediately had an idea for my new book. I am about to write the scene where someone attempts to set the protagonist’s house on fire. They will be unsuccessful. But then I thought that it would add to the drama if she is injured, maybe just slips on a patch of ice while running to the fire and ends up concussed and in the hospital. It will be a good place for the police to question her, because she has been avoiding them, and will put her in a very vulnerable position. Great idea, and I probably never would have thought of it had I not been flat on my back in the recovery room.

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