For my last novel and the one my mind is currently cooking up, I got the basic idea from quotes. Last time around, I found the following quote:
“We know the truth, not only by the reason, but also by the heart.” ~ Blaise Pascal
I had spent some time around a friend who had once been a sniper, and he talked a lot about the secrecy and mental stress of the job. I then formed my novel around those two things. It’s called We Know the Truth and is currently with an agent. Here’s hoping!
Find the right quote
This time around (because of gearing up for NaNoWriMo), I went looking for the right quote again. My story begins with a girl who gets pregnant at seventeen and her mother is not impressed, to say the least. I specifically went in search of baby quotes and found a perfect quote that I can use part of as my title.
My basic concept is that the girl runs off to America with the aid of a rich man, but there are strings attached. Eventually she hears of her mother’s cancer and returns home to heal the relationship. This idea is still sorely lacking, though, because there is nothing to carry the story. I need a plot, a theme; novels based on daughters reuniting with their mothers don’t really sell in droves.
What if . . .
What if she falls for the older rich man? What if she still pines for her boyfriend? What if that boyfriend is a player? What if the child dies? What if she gives her up for adoption only to change her mind when the child is two because the father wants to marry her? What if the child is kidnapped? All these questions depend on which genre I want to write in, but no matter which one I choose, the reader must want to keep turning the pages to find out information.
I could do some paranormal thing—she could discover a gift of mind reading and cause a lot of damage. Perhaps she gets into astral projection and visits her ex to torment him about impregnating her. I could make it a love story and a hunk of burning love shows up and she is in love in three days (although I hate the absurdness of that)l; I could take the suspense angle and have the child kidnapped, I could write Christian fiction and save them all in the process of love/suspense/paranormal activity.
What’s the goal?
So what if the child dies and the MC really loves kids and really wanted this baby once she was settled? What if the rich guy wants kids with her but she does not want them brought up by him? What if her biggest goal is to have kids and he is the chief antagonist to her having them? What if no publisher in the world will touch a novel with the chief goal of the protagonist being to have babies?
This, my friends, is the way a writer’s mind works. If you have any helpful suggestions that will turn me into a multi-millionaire, um, an inspiring writer, please let me know. 🙂 In the meantime, see what you can come up with based on quotes you find.
All the best with your own search for a concept and plot-driven theme.