Monday, February 18, 2013

Dreaming Up My Next Story

Buy The CEO and the Cowboy HERE

By Starla Kaye
Every writer I know works differently. Story ideas, titles, and characters come to us differently. There a ton of “how-to” books available on how to write a book. There is advice all over the Internet. You can belong to writers groups, critique groups, or just bounce your ideas off your friends and family.

I have a massive library of writing “how-to” books; most of them only glanced through when I picked them up in the bookstore. I look at some of the writer’s advice that passes through online groups I belong to, or I pick it up when I do research for a program that I will deliver at one of the writers groups I am a member of. And I have solid, reliable writing friends that I can bounce ideas off of or have them critique at least part of a story. But I rarely talk about more than my basic story thoughts with my friends or family.

Mainly I come up with story ideas on my own. As Barbara Elsborg said in a recent blog, I also can’t start writing a project until I have a title definitely in my mind. Rarely do my titles ever get changed before publication. After I have my title in mind, then I create characters and a setting that fit it. Maybe some people think that is an ass-backwards way of starting a story, sort of putting the cart before the horse. It doesn’t matter. That’s the way I work.

That’s the way I usually start out, anyway. There are always exceptions to a rule. I’m in the process of writing a sequel to The CEO And The Cowboy. I am using my two heroes from that story, so I have characters already created. I will be digging deeper into their psyches, pulling out more of what drives them emotionally, and extending their relationship. What I mean by that is I am adding a woman into the mix: Ruby Tuesday McMurtry.

Tentatively titled For Ruby’s Love, the story will pick up about a year after Calhoun and Daniel got together and struggled to become lovers. As with many couples in real life, the “bloom is off the rose” and although they want to be together, they are struggling to make a relationship work. Life—each of their lives—gets in the way.

When I was dreaming up a storyline to continue what had been started in the first book, I knew in my heart that they needed another person in their lives. Of course they don’t realize that at first. When Ruby arrives at Calhoun’s ranch to help him with a traumatized horse, both he and Daniel expect a completely different person. They had made arrangements to bring to the ranch a famous and in-much demand horse whisperer. Instead Ruby, the man’s daughter, arrives and refuses to be turned away. She is dealing with trauma of her own and now must prove to these two alpha men that she can handle the job. She desperately wants to prove herself and earn a reputation of her own. What none of them foresee is the powerful attraction that fires up between them.

I’m excited about writing this story. My problem is I get sidetracked…and I’m totally blaming the publisher. I had finished coming up with my basic plot line and was ready to dig into the actual writing. And then I heard that Decadent might be looking for stories about older couples. Well, I had to stop everything and work on that idea. Now I’ve got Silke’s Stubborn Cowboy racing around in my thoughts and dying to be put on paper, too.

One thing I don’t have is a problem coming up with story ideas. Finding enough time to actually write each of the stories…okay, that’s where I have problems. But I’m determined to crank these two particular stories out before too much longer.


Starla Kaye said...

Hello, everyone. I hope you don't get as sidetracked as I do. And I hope you share some of your thoughts about how you go about starting a new story.

Barbara Elsborg said...

I should take my own advice, Starla! I HAVE to write a sequel to a story I've had published and I cannot for the life of me decide where to take it. Most unusual for me, but then I don't very often write more stories using the same characters. Maybe if I can come up with the title.... but then last night, I had a complicated dream that I really want to use for a story. I feel distraction looming! Seems we have a lot in common!

Starla Kaye said...

I understand the dilemma. I have many fans ask me about doing sequels that involve side characters. Most of the time I don't have a clue where to start...probably why I procrastinate on doing those stories.

But with my follow-up story to The CEO and The Cowboy, I just seemed to know where I wanted to go next. Now I just have to write it.

Louise Pelzl said...

Thanks for confirming what I already know and do. Quess that means I'm not as crazy as I thought.

Great post. Louise

Starla Kaye said...

No, you're not crazy if you do what Barbara and I do. You're just a writer.
Thanks for stopping by, Louise.

Jessica E. Subject said...

LOL I get sidetracked to by other story ideas. I think our muses enjoy doing that to us. All the best!

Starla Kaye said...

Those ornery muses! Thanks, Jessica for stopping by.