by Geraldine Solon
From Idea to Novel
Where do you get your ideas? This is a common question I get from people I know. Ideas come to me in ordinary situations like when I’m lining up at the grocery or lying in bed trying to sleep. An idea is like a bolt of lightning—powerful and vivid. Once it materializes in my head, the excitement takes over and I soon find myself scribbling down my notes.
The story of Love Letters came naturally to me. I wrote this novel mainly because most of us dream of marrying our true love but not everybody gets a second chance. Creating characters that are flawed, realistic and sympathetic allows the reader to relate to them. Having a theme that readers can resonate with only confirms that you’re story is meaningful.
In Love Letters, bridal shop manager Chloe Rogers will soon marry Richard Foster—so she thinks—until suddenly, she bumps into her childhood sweetheart, Josh Goldman, whom she hasn’t seen in thirteen years. The sparks between Chloe and Josh fly, but Richard provides safety, financial security. Should she follow her heart or her head? The answer comes in a surprise twist. While cleaning her attic, she stumbles upon love letters written to her estranged mother forty years ago from a man she loved. When Chloe secretly brings them together again and sees how much time they’ve lost, she is challenged not to make the same mistake her mother made. Will Chloe opt for security or will she risk her heart and marry her true love?
As a writer, it’s essential to be observant of your surroundings. Listen to the birds chirping. Is it a sunny day? Can you smell the flowers? When writing your scenes it’s vital to have the five senses stimulated so your readers can get a full grasp of your story. Reading books can help you identify your style and find your voice in developing your idea to a novel. The movies you watch and people you meet will help define your characters. Study their expressions and movement. How do they dress? Do they speak in a certain way? This will help you create unique and distinct characters. Making a note about the places you visit could be a potential setting for your story?
Ideas are always out there and having a broad imagination helps a lot. Dreams and fantasies can trigger an idea to write your next novel. You are the creator of your story that breathes life to your characters. Living in the character’s skin is like living a life you never had. What makes them tick? Why should they make this decision? How will they handle conflict? You know when your idea is bigger than you imagined when the plot of your story is the center of your attention and have a powerful message to share. Writing is an emotional experience and turning your ideas into a novel is indeed rewarding.
Everything starts with a seed that produces into a beautiful flower. The question I would ask aspiring writers is “What do you do with your ideas?”
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