Inspiration all Around
When I wrote The Role of a Lifetime, I started with one simple scene in my head. It came to me when I was at the playground with my daughter. There were kids going down this big tube slide and one of the mothers was having trouble showing her two year old how to slide down and not to be frightened. So she put her legs in (trying to demonstrate), then quickly turned to me and said, “Watch me get stuck.”
Well, I laughed, and then I thought it’d be even funnier if a father got stuck in the slide. Even funnier if he was single father, trying to “show off” to a woman. Even funnier if he wasn’t a father but a single man, with a large ego, trying to “show off” and got stuck in a slide. Even funnier if—uh, well, you get the idea.
Anyway, that simple encounter stuck with me—no pun intended. So I decided to work with it. I got out my handy GMC (Goal, Motivation, Conflict) book and began to play “what if” and then finally came up with Ben Capshaw, my hero. And the rest wrote itself. (Sort of)
With my book Georgie on His Mind (that will be out October 2010), it started with a scene as well. I was inspired by a funny story told to me by a friend that reminded me of that movie Never Been Kissed. So when I went home that night, I immediately wrote a scene where the hero finds out his best friend’s sister had never been kissed before and she wanted him to enlighten her on the experience. I loved that scene so much and always looked at it for motivation with my characters. But I made Georgie a little less innocent in the end, and unfortunately that funny scene never made it into the first draft. Boo-hoo.
Do you write? What comes first for you? Character, scene, or something else entirely?