My previous post told about a contest I entered that had very specific criteria. The story had to be about a particular holiday, Halloween, contain specific vocabulary and could not exceed 100 words. That exercise got me thinking about how authors approach writing, which then got me thinking about how I came to write the story I submitted. First, I typed out the three required words and starred at them on a blank page. I saw one noun, one verb and an adjective. Then I started thinking about experiences children could relate to during that holiday. Feeling frightened, going trick or treating with friends and family, getting candy, dressing in costume, and so on. That’s when I decided to write about the feeling of being frightened in a story about siblings trick or treating.
Some writers find it useful to start with specific criteria and write on demand. They may know what subjects interest them or what theme they would like to use. The story idea for my soon to be published book came to me when I was baking. Sorry Agatha, I loathe doing dishes so cannot imagine any good book ideas resulting from that activity!
After reading a well written story, are you ever curious about how the idea came to the author? I know I am.