Monday, September 3, 2012

What's Inside Your Head?

One of the most common questions I've gotten as an author is where do I get my ideas. (Along with "How much money do you make?" and "Do you personally research all those sex scenes?") (Answers: "None of your business" and "Yeah, and I practice the murders, too. Want to help?")

I told a friend the other day that in the beginning, the question of where I got ideas really baffled me. I thought everyone had people and plots living in their heads. I thought the only difference was that I wrote mine down and others didn't.

Which makes me wonder . . . What does go on inside the head of a non-writing person? Do they ever fantasize about romance, mystery, suspense, adventures? Do they really not have other people in there with them, or do they just refuse to recognize them? Are they too logical to acknowledge the voices hiding in their frontal or temporal lobe? Are they unwilling to be labeled different or weird?

(Upon the sale of my very first book, someone I was very close to said, "Oh, you're not weird, after all. You're creative." Like it was a huge surprise.)

And the big question: don't they get loney or bored? My brain has always been filled with lives and emotions and voices other than my own. I would feel so lost without them. But if that's all I had ever known, I guess it would seem normal.

Given a choice, I'll take weird any time.


  1. I've gotta say I have always loved reading since I was a kid and even toyed with the idea of being a writer. But stories don't seem to appear in my brain. So I do wonder how my favorite authors can come out with so many stores. I am truly amazed at their abilities.

    1. Interesting to hear, Winnie. They've just always been there for me, so it's odd to think it's not that way for other people. Made it hard in school, though, because when a teacher started talking, I started running stories in my mind. :)

  2. Ha! Thanks, Marilyn, for letting me off the 'weird' hook!

    Yesterday when I should have been revising the ms I'm trying to sell, a completely new story inserted itself in my head--complete with opening hook: No one heard the first shot...

    In four hours I had the main characters, plot, conflict, and cliffhanger ending on my computer.

    Now that's out of the way, I can get back to work.

    Cheers...and happy writing!


    1. You know, really, T, I think we're normal and the people whose brains are occupied only by themselves are the weird ones. :)

      Love that opening line. Isn't it wonderful when something just flows like that?

  3. Replies
    1. Hope springs eternal, right?

      I overheard a woman the other day at the store saying, "I don't read books. Don't like them." I was flabbergasted. What in the world do you do if you don't write OR read?! Aren't you dead then?