Saturday, February 09, 2019

The Ideas Factory

By Vicki Delany

Where do you get your ideas? That’s a question authors are always been asked, and in a lot of cases we can’t answer. Ideas just come.

Entering The Ideas Factory

But, right now, they are not coming to me.

I’ve written more thirty-five books. I’m currently writing four series , and publishing three novels (and some years one novella) from major traditional publishers each year.

And I’m running out of ideas.

Talking over an idea with a friend

There are some plot limitations in the cozy genre. The reason for the murder has to be personal, and it has to involve a close-knit community or group of friends. No international crime rings or random killers or threat of terrorism or organized crime. It has to be solvable by the amateur sleuth without the aid of reports from Interpol or forensic analysis. And, the amateur sleuth has to have a compelling reason to get involved.

So, as I’m running out of ideas, I went straight to the Ideas Factory.

Road to the Ideas Factory

Meaning my writers retreat.  Twice a year I get together with a small group of writers friends in some remote location, at which we write, talk about writing, take long walks, swim if seasonally-appropriate, and eat and drink well. (by a total coincidence Barbara wrote about her writers’ retreat this week:  It’s a time to recharge and – sometimes – get ideas and inspiration.

This year I didn’t do any writing while there, because I went with the aim of coming up with some plot lines. Over the three days, I talked with my writer friends on our long walks in the snowy woods, and over a glass of wine by the fireplace.  We threw out ideas, some pretty ridiculous, some mighty funny, I made lots of notes.  I got some good, concrete ideas that I intend to use.

At the Ideas Factory

The fifth in the Lighthouse Library series, Something Read Something Dead, comes out on March 13. I'm having a contest for an advance reading copy at my facebook page. If you'd like to enter: OR leave a comment here at Type M.


Donis Casey said...

What a great resource for ideas. I need one of those retreats and/or willing friends with whom to bat ideas around. Im sure you'll come up with something good. You always do.

Rick Blechta said...

Thirty-five? Wow!! You're my hero.

And I'll bet there will be a lot more!