One question I get asked the most, especially by readers or folks who don’t write is–Won’t I run out of ideas? My answer is always, “NOPE!”
Honestly, the more I write, the more ideas I come up with. I blame it on my big imagination. Lol. I can just picture the entire world and I want to get all that cool stuff in there. Or I fall in love with side characters who were just supposed to be filler. Or something in the real world triggers an ah-ha moment that just needs to be on paper.
This even impacts current WIPs. I might be mid-story, and it’s all fleshed out with developed plot and characters and a new idea will spring up that I just HAVE to incorporate. I will spend hours (not all at once) sitting and staring at my computer letting my mind go down the “what if” train of thoughts and how those would impact the story down the line.
But I thought I’d share a bit of how the process actually works. Let’s do a hypothetical for instance…
I’ll start by picking a random creature for our heroine (I always start with the heroine, don’t ask). How about your basic wolf shifter? Already I’m spinning the possibilities with the what ifs, because I want my wolf shifters to be fresh. So…
- She’s trapped?
- She’s cursed?
- She’s been kicked out of her pack?
- She’s shifting for the first time?
- She’s lost the ability to shift?
I could keep going with the what if’s, but let’s pick one and run with the next question. Let’s say our wolf shifter heroine is shifting for the first time. What makes that compelling?
- Shifting is a violent process and she should have help?
- A female shifting for the first time means she’s met her mate?
- She thought she was latent, and her wolf wouldn’t come out?
- Shifting leaves her vulnerable and she’s alone in another pack’s territory?
- A male wolf can claim a female during the shift and she’s being held by someone she doesn’t want to mate?
Already I might have to write this story. Lol. I think I’m going to go with shifting is a violent process and she needs help.
- Wolf shifters can be made, as well as born, and she doesn’t know what she’s becoming?
- She’s found by a mountain man (yum) who has his own secrets?
- Without a mate to help her through the process, she could die?
- She needs to be caged when she shifts until she can learn to control it, but the only person around is another shifter who’s anti-social?
Now this is getting interesting. We could do one more, jumping off from that last bullet point. However, I’d like to point out that, if I wanted to make it really fun, I might go with all 4 of those last bullet points combined. Actually let’s do that, and here’s what we have…
Our heroine was selected by a pack of wolf shifters to be made into a female in order to mate their Alpha. As a human, she hasn’t known of the existence of wolf shifters before, so she’s terrified when she’s captured, bitten, and thrown into a cell. The Alpha has to wait for her shift to mate her.
But somehow she escapes (this would involve another session of what if’s). She manages to run loose in the mountains, but she’s in pain and confused because the shift is coming on. Enter our hero who is a loner shifter (see what if exercise to determine what kind) that NO ONE risks going near, not even the wolf pack on the next mountain over (total anti-hero this one). He comes across her and can’t not help.
Of course, our hero will have to mate our heroine and get her through the shift without dying. But imagine ALL the what ifs and ways we could get them from point A to point B in between!!!
Sounds like fun, doesn’t it? Just wait until you start adding other plot lines, delving more into the Alpha of the pack, introducing more characters or creatures, etc. And boom, the paranormal world just explodes with color and life and you can’t contain it.
At least…that’s the way it works for me.