Saturday, May 19, 2007

Stumbling across story ideas ...

Meet my pal, Sally, VP and Creative Director for an ad agency. To me, she could be Meg Ryan's twin sister, she's that hilarious and quick witted with spot-on comebacks that'd take me weeks to think up. If I'm ever financially able, I plan to beg her to come work for me, that's how business savvy she is.

Getting to the point, though, over the last six weeks, at every single reading for The Penny Tree, I've been asked where I get my story ideas and how I think up quirky little traits for my characters.

This photo is a good example, because the 1/2 mannequin gave me a creative spark, and from that spark I came up with a way to add some 'oooomph' to a secondary character in The Silver Compass who was otherwise... bland. See? Inspiration is everywhere. You just need to open your mind to it and allow yourself to imagine...

17 comments:

wordman17 said...

Cool pic. I could go for a full mannequin in my living room, only female, of course.

How goes the writing on Silver Compass?

Melissa Marsh said...

LOL. That pictures is hilarious!

Ideas hit me all the time, and then, foolish me, I forget to write them down!

kyla-dale said...

My old boyfriend's football team used to have a female mannequin mascot that they dressed in a string bikini and carried to every game -- odd group of guys

Can't wait for TSC to come out.
Why does it have to take so long? A year seems like forever to wait?

LadyBronco said...

I love it when inspiration hits out of nowhere ~ sometimes the things that seem so mundane can fule the fire, so to speak.

The Writers' Group said...

I can just pciture her saying, "Pe-can piiie..." I love that photo.

Amy

Kim Stagliano said...

Um, what is the title of that sculpture? Just curious. Great photo!

I got an idea for how to frame someone for murder when I went to the train station a few weeks ago. Someone had left a mini bottle on the ground. I realized it could have the fingerprints of a street person or other person who hangs around the train/bus station. If I picked it up with a plastic bag and kept it - I could then murder someone, drop the body near the train station, and plant that bottle near the body - with the poor, unsuspecting imbiber's fingerprints right next to the body. The police would be nicely off track and someone innocent would get picked up for questions. Ideas DO pop up from mundane daily life.

ORION said...

I do so know what you mean when you say stumble.
Some times entire face splats.
The creative process has a sence of humor for sure.

Seeley deBorn said...

Some days I think there is too much inspiration. I'd never make it out of the house if I wrote down all the thinkgs that struck me!

Steve G said...

Nice post and nice pic. I picked up a few from the news.

Larramie said...

Can't wait to read how that picture "perked" up your character? ;o)

Holly Kennedy said...

Wordman17 - I was up until 2 a.m. last night writing, pacing and swearing over TSC. It's going well, but I'm stressed as usual :)

Melissa - I know what you're saying! I now carry blank recipe cards with me everywhere. *sigh* I think I'm becoming more and more eccentric AND reclusive with each new book

Kyla-dale - a year is a long time to wait, but what can you do, huh?

Ladybronco - nice to have you stop by. Hope all's going well at your end on the writing end of things.

Ooooh, Amy, the "pecan pie" comment is PERFECT!

Kim, you kill me with your ideas. What a great one, though. I bet it'd work, too!

ORION -- Yup, those face splats happen to me more and more all the time. Picture me, hair sticking up all over, vacant/distant look on my face, husband and kids waving their hands in front of me, saying, "HELLO?! Earth to Holly."

Seeley -- I agree. Sometimes my mind is TOO full and I feel a migraine coming on. How does one learn to compartmentalize? I WISH I could do that easily, but have never managed to....

Steve g -- the news and the newspaper and the rag magazines, I agree. I'm forever cutting something out and tucking it away.

Larramie -- Let's just hope my little 'mannequin addition' makes the final editing cut so you can see it in the book :)

Friend from A-town said...

Great snapshot, Hol.

She does look a little like Meg Ryan, doesn't she?

M. G. Tarquini said...

Wow. Wait 'til we get some Hanes on her.

Therese said...

Imaginative and then some!

What I love is when out of the blue I get an answer to a question or problem I didn't even realize existed until that answer appeared.

Heidi the Hick said...

Someday I'd love to hear more details on how you get inspiration for your characters.

Holly Kennedy said...

Friend from A-town -- Yup, she honestly does look like Meg Ryan. Acts like her, too!

Mindy -- How nice to have you pop by. How goes the writing?

Therese -- Stumbling across those pockets of creative genius make writing so worthwhile, don't you agree?

Heidi -- You're such a sweetheart! BTW, thanks for the email and your kind comments re: TTB and TPT. I hope your mom enjoys them. I WILL reply offline as soon as I can dig myself out from all this paper on my desk and make my June 20th deadline for book 3!

Adrienne said...

I love this photo.

That's all I wanted to say! Thank you.