Monthly Archives: December 2013

Where Writers Really Get Their Ideas…Part 2

Guest post by Kelli Wilkins

One of the most common questions writers are asked is: “Where do you get your ideas?” In my last blog, we learned that ideas are everywhere and many story ideas often come from observing something (people, surroundings, conversations, etc.) Now we’re going to take our powers of observation and imagination a step further and ask “What if?”

“What if…” is a great way to generate new ideas for articles, short fiction, and novels. Most stories start off with a “what if” premise (What if there was a school for young wizards? What if aliens invaded?) and develop from there. As a writer, you can use your imagination to create endless “what if” scenarios and build stories around them.

Playing the “what if” game is also a great tool to help you if you’re partway through a story and develop writer’s block or if the plot fizzles. Ask yourself “what if” and send your characters on a new adventure or alter their lives in a new direction. (What if the hero discovers the heroine has a secret love child? What if the heroine finds a hidden room in the castle?) Using “what if” can take your story into uncharted waters and deepen the plot, add emotion, or otherwise raise the stakes for your characters.

“What if” is a great game to play, whether you’re using it as a tool to help move your writing along, to jumpstart a story, or for fun as a writing exercise. Play the “what if” game the next time you’re observing your surroundings and watching people. (What if the red car doesn’t stop for the old man in the crosswalk? What if the woman in the restaurant is waiting for her secret lover?)

Just for fun: Here are some wild “what if” questions you can use for writing exercises:
What if…
…a fisherman found a live mermaid?
…archeologists uncovered a UFO while excavating in Texas?
…your character inherited a haunted house and knew the ghosts?
…a killer picks his victims according to their birth sign?
…the weird goth kid down the block really is a vampire?
…a man in the witness protection program won the lottery and his secret life was revealed?

Once you start thinking in terms of “what if” keep asking yourself more questions to take the scenario further. For example, “What if a character murders someone and buries the body in his cellar? Then, what if his wife comes home and finds him covered in dirt (or blood)? What if the wife’s brother is a cop?”

As you can see, once you start the “what if” game, the possibilities are endless, and you can take the story anywhere.

This is the second of a four-part series. Next blog, we go In Search of… ideas.

Happy Reading!
Kelli A. Wilkins

Kelli A. Wilkins divides her time between writing romance and horror. Her romances vary in genre and range from sensual to super-sizzling hot. Kelli invites readers to visit her website and blog to catch up on all her writings.

Where Writers Really Get Their Ideas…Part 1

Guest post by Kelli A. Wilkins

As anyone who has heard my interviews on Blog Talk radio already knows, I divide my time between writing erotic romances and spooky horror stories, so naturally one of the most common questions I’m asked in interviews is: “Where do you get your ideas?”

Here’s a hint: they’re not stored in a warehouse in Upstate NY (as one popular writer teased) or in a secret database. The short answer is: Everywhere. Ideas are everywhere – if you know where and how to look for them.

Writers tend to be people-watchers (some call it being nosy) and spend time observing life around them. Any seemingly innocent person on the street, a snippet of conversation, or a creepy locale can appeal to our vivid imaginations and spark a story idea. In short, writers find ideas everywhere.

Stories often come from observing something (for example, a car in a lake) and then develop as the writer uses his or her imagination to get to the heart of the story. Bits and pieces of other ideas are added in until the final product is a blend of several ideas and/or observations. So, although it may seem like the author wrote the story based on one clever idea, the story is often a compilation of many ideas woven together.

Some of my Amber Quill Press romances were inspired by strange ideas. Here’s a short list:

A Most Unusual Princess – The opening scene of Dalton watching Elara “bathing” popped into my head and I began wondering “what sort of princess does that in broad daylight?”

The Sexy Stranger – I had an idea for a hot guy kidnapping a woman – and then played around with it. He quickly discovers that he’s taken the wrong woman!

Trust with Hearts – The idea for this book came to me just before a concert. I took notes on scraps of paper and started writing the outline the next day.

Beauty & the Bigfoot – I couldn’t get the idea of a Bigfoot hunter’s daughter falling in love with Bigfoot out of my head. I’m not sure where the idea came from, but reviewers loved the book!

A Perfect Match – The idea for this wrestling romance came to me in a dream. I had to start writing the outline the second I woke up!

How can you find ideas to inspire your next book, article, or short story? Go somewhere (the mall, a store, the park, anywhere) and look around. Put away all of your electronic devices and watch people (notice what they’re doing, what they’re wearing, how they interact with one another, listen in on their conversations) and let your mind wander. Ask yourself what might happen next – or – what might have happened five minutes before you saw that person.

For a writing exercise, pick a person (or an event) and write a paragraph or two about it. When you’re not writing, keep a list of things that capture your attention and think about how you could develop them into a story. Remember, a great idea can come from an ordinary occurrence, such as a car being towed, a dog escaping its leash, or a woman pushing an empty stroller. Keep your eyes (and mind) open for possibilities. You never know where an idea will take you!

This is the first of a four-part series. Next time, we play the “what if” game!

Happy Reading!
Kelli A. Wilkins

Kelli A. Wilkins divides her time between writing romance and horror. Her romances vary in genre and range from sensual to super-sizzling hot. Kelli invites readers to visit her website and blog to catch up on all her writings.

SFR Brigade Presents: “Hathor Legacy: Outcast”

SFR Brigade Presents is a regular feature where authors posts snippets of their published works and WIP. Check out the other authors here and read more about their books!

This is an excerpt from my new book, “Hathor Legacy: Outcast” which is the first in a series.

In this snippet, Jonathan and Nadira have been pursuing a criminal who stole from a nearby mine and who might be responsible for killing Jon’s father, the mine CEO. While they were in pursuit, Jon accused Nadira of withholding important information about his father, and he abruptly left the inn where they were staying. Nadira followed him and now they’re meeting up. However, Nadira had to create a psychic connection with Jon in order to protect him, and that connection is creating a few issues for him.  

**”Hathor Legacy: Outcast” will be free on Amazon Kindle on 12/17 & 12/18  
Click here to download a copy**

Jon dashed over onto the sand-covered shoulder, getting out of the way before the cycle whizzed past. But instead of continuing down the road, it came to an abrupt stop, the metal wheels sending sparks flying.

Who the hell was driving that thing? The idiot could’ve run him over. He ran over to the vehicle just as the top lifted up and revealed who it was. Nadira stepped out, brushing herself off as she glared at him.

“Can’t you drive?” he demanded, as he slammed the top down. “You could’ve hit me.”

“If you were in the medi-evac, at least I’d know where the hell you were!” She smoothed her hair back.  “Why did you take off like that?”

“You know why!” he roared. “You should’ve trusted me. I had a right to know what happened to my father.” Damn, she was exasperating. Even now, he was having trouble resisting her. Pings of energy hit him like sparks, firing up his desire for her. 

“Stop that. You’re doing that Guardian thing again.” He took a step back, retreating as she moved closer. 

“Jon, you kept saying we were connected. Well, now we are. Do you think you can just walk away from that?”

About the book…

On the planet, Hathor, a powerful group called the Guardians serves as the security force for Novacorp, the corporation that runs Hathor with its ruthless monopoly. Nadira, as one of the most powerful Guardians, is expected to use her intuition and telekinetic powers to keep the capital city safe from thieves and intruders.
Jonathan Keel, son of a mine CEO on the nearby planet, Astarte, is wealthy, privileged and used to getting what he wants. When his father goes missing after a robbery and explosion at the mine, he defies the authorities and heads to Hathor to search for him and for the robbers.

Security is on high alert and Nadira is charged with protecting Jon. She rescues him from an vicious attack and discovers that the Guardians have another agenda that has nothing to do with solving the crime.

Jonathan finds evidence of his father’s possible involvement, while his attraction to Nadira forces her to confront all she has known about being a Guardian, especially the rule to put duty before her personal feelings.

Struggling with their growing desires, and chased by company security, Jon and Nadira flee the city. But solving the crime leads them to endure betrayals from the people closest to them, as secrets are revealed that not only link their pasts but also threaten to destroy Jon’s family and separate him from Nadira forever.

Summer Heat by Patt Mihailoff

Patt Mihailoff’s Summer Heat is a short, sexy story that I enjoyed reading over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. It’s part of the “Weekend Getaways” line at Secret Cravings Publishing and you can get it for only 99 cents!

Buy it here:

About Summer Heat

Her heart was empty, her body unfulfilled. Convincing herself that she was not running away from an unfortunate break up she needed some sun and relaxation. Hilton Head Beach was just the ticket, but it wasn’t as affordable as she would have liked. So two girlfriends later they were headed for one of the most exclusive and high profiled places in South Carolina.

Evening breezes  have a way with teasing your mind, making you fantasize, forcing you to confront your own erotic needs.  It’s easy to do when you’re alone and you’re able to give thoughts to all those hidden passions kept secret for so long.

Who would have thought she’d find the kind of passion that she’d always dreamed of when Mario Powell, came into her life like a soft breeze, filling her with the kind sensuous lovemaking that satisfied every craving she’d ever had.