I’ve spent days on this, trying to come up with a story that’s different from all the other stories I’ve written–over 60 total and 26 of those are wolf shifter stories. So it HAS to be unique. I asked readers if they wanted me to set the location somewhere new because the SEAL wolf is really new to the scene, but he’s a cousin to the Heart of the Wolf pack leader. His twin brother was the hero in SEAL Wolf Undercover. OR, should I have it set with the original wolf pack.
The readers who responded wanted more of Heart of the Wolf. I only wrote the one story, added a new novella to it for the re-release of the book on its 10th anniversary–the first book in the long-running series.
Okay, so here are some ways that I came up with the idea for the new story:
- Read books (sometimes they can jump start an idea that is nothing like what your story is about, but something just turns on the light bulb)
- Watched movies (thrillers, paranormal, survival stories–the latter two true stories)
- Brainstormed with a friend
- Looked up plot ideas on the internet (there are a ton of 100 plot ideas, 25 plot ideas, etc, and one of the simplest ideas got me to thinking)
- Researched an idea to see if it might work
- Took pictures (taking a break and giving your creative mind something else to do can help!)
- Kept mulling ideas over in my mind (every time I was thinking about stories that I’d watched or read, I kept telling myself to get on with what was important–the plot of the story, so I would think about it instead)
- Make lists (I don’t do this very often, but it can help)
- What if (What ifs can help to jump start an idea sometimes)
- News stories (I’ve come up with several that way)
- Trips I’ve taken (Oftentimes I’ll get an idea for a story based on a place I’ve been or lived, and it’s the perfect setting for the story, giving it mood and realism)
- Relax (So I had the idea last night of what I wanted to use for the story, it’s a counterfeiting scheme. I researched it. And then went to bed. This morning, I’m lying in bed, thinking about getting up, and Tanner is making little noises like: yes, do! And I was ignoring him, and thinking about the story. And then I had the scene in my mind!)
- Move to a new location. Sit outside for a while. Sit on the couch. Go to bed and think about the story. I’ve done all of these and suddenly, there it is. Amazing!
- True life stories you’ve experienced related to the story you’re thinking about.
- Solicit readers for ideas.
My friend was the one who mentioned her soap opera counterfeiting story. I remember when I was in the Waco area, how, if you had a $50 or $100 bill, they would run a marker over it to see if it was for real, or counterfeit. They did it for $20 bills too at some stores it got so bad. I looked up counterfeiters on the internet and found a ton of them who had been taken into custody, so it’s really big business.
It helped to get readers’ opinion on going with a whole new story, or tying it in with the original wolf pack.
So this morning, I was mulling over the story–how do the characters meet? The hero, the heroine, the bad guys?
And I had it! In the novella I added to the re-release on Heart of the Wolf, they have a cousin who is a doctor for the wolf pack. So he has a clinic. In the story, the hero, heroine, two of the bad guys, the female pack leader and her three toddlers are at the clinic. One of the bad guys is suffering from a gunshot wound. And that’s the beginning. Oh, and the heroine was on a flight and picked up the wrong bag, so she’s got some of the counterfeit money. The SEAL hero is a PI, and he’ll begin investigating the counterfeiters after the bad guys pay the bill with the fake stuff. I just have to figure out why he’s there, why she’s there, and start writing the book. Easy!
Now, the simple prompt idea that got this going on one of those plot idea blogs? She takes the wrong coat home. That got me to thinking–what if she had picked up the wrong bag at the airport and it had something important in it. (It might not be counterfeit money, but maybe passports and other stuff that tie in to these guys). Or what if one of the guys was going to be detained and slipped a key to a box into her pocket, planning to catch up to her before she gets away, but he misses her and then the hunt is on. Maybe the SEAL was trying to track these guys down already and thinks she’s one of them, because she’s got the suitcase of their counterfeit bills.
Soooo, there are a ton of possibilities, and the neat thing is–using What ifs, works! Oh, and then why? How? When?
Okay, so I’m still working on edits on Her Jaguar Protector, but I’m jotting down ideas for the SEAL story too. Then I need to write my word count goals on the calendar so I can get this book done on time, too.
And readers are asking about the next cougar book, yes, plan to write Stryker’s story. Next polar bear story, yes, working on it too.
Hope you have a super jump start to your day whatever you’re trying to do!!
“Giving new meaning to the term alpha male where fantasy is reality.”
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