Thursday, November 16

The Metamorphis of an Idea

by Margie Senechal

The number one question writers are asked has got to be, "Where do you get your ideas?" For writers, it's an easy and hard question to answer.

Image result for how do writers get their ideasSome days you feel like, "Where don't I get my ideas?" Other days, it's "I wish I knew." and still others, "I steal them."

For me, the initial idea is easy. I have a folder of ideas--along with sticky notes scattered along my desk, news clippings on my bulletin board--to prove it. 

The real work comes in the harvesting of the idea. We're kind of like farmers like that. We find a seed, we plant it, and then we have to nurture and care for it before it comes into it's glory.

Take Suitcases if you will.

The seed was a story about a girl who collected suitcases but never went anywhere. I had a compelling first paragraph and page.

Image result for butterfly meme

Why doesn't she go anywhere? That's the planting of the seed. Once I thought that, I couldn't let her go. 

As I wrote/write it, things have morphed. Originally, I was going to have her mother manipulating her into not going anywhere. But that couldn't sustain an entire novella, let alone an entire novel.

When Chessie arrived on the scene, I thought she was related to one character and now a third of the way through, I realize she needs to be with a different one. (Which will be ironed out in the rewrite, Jana)

Image result for the simplicity of cider by amy e. reichertDuring the summer, I read Amy E. Reichert's The Simplicity of Cider. The book is about a woman trying to save her family orchard through her apple cider business. And one of the things she does is create new apple blends by splicing and grafting. Think of a wine master with apples. Great book, btw.

It's a lot like the process we go through as writers during our cultivation period--which I have to admit, could be my favorite part of writing. The creation of goals, character, plot...before I have to start trimming and deadheading. But, that's another post.

Suffice it to say, next time you meet a writer, don't ask where they get their ideas. Ask instead, how do they cultivate their ideas? And then hurry back here and tell me.

Happy Thursday!


  1. This is why I don't write fiction. Too much cultivation, not to mention trying to remember all the plots and characters. But I sure like to read them when other people write them. Hoping to read Suitcases this weekend.

    1. I can’t wait to hear what you think!

  2. What an excellent point! I am loving Suitcases, BTW.

  3. If I didn't say it in my email, Margie, I loved Suitcases. I hope I made a comment or two that's useful to you.