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The Legacy of Androva Series

Writing Prompts

“The beautiful part of writing is that you don't have to get it right the first time, unlike, say, a brain surgeon.” (or an Avenger...)
― Robert Cormier

I’m writing the final book in my first series right now, which means there are all kinds of ideas turning up inside my head. Not just about the current book (that’s normal – I always figure out the story as I go along) but also about what to write next. Unlike Thor, I have the luxury of not having to get it right first time! The possibilities are endless, and although I’m really looking forward to it, I’m also more than a little nervous. I thought it was a good time for a blog post about writing prompts and ideas πŸ™‚

Every story idea is from a prompt of some kind, even if it’s just me, inside my head, making something up. My experience so far has been that each book starts with a question I want to know the answer to. The question works as a foundation on which everything else is constructed. 
  • Stealing Magic: Why is there no such thing as real magic in our world?
  • Capturing Magic: What would happen if someone wanted magic badly enough to kill one of my characters for it?
  • Seeking Magic: How was someone from our world able to become a magician in the first place?
  • Controlling Magic: Could there ever be a situation when science and magic work together?
  • Breaking Magic: What’s Cal’s story?
  • Surviving Magic: What’s Galen’s story? And does his story change everything else?
  • …ing Magic: How does it all end?
From there, the plot develops bit by bit, and it can be based on all different kinds of input. Writers are often asked, “Where do you get your ideas from?” I don’t know how to answer this except by saying, “Everywhere.” Since I started writing regularly, my brain bombards me with prompts all day long. It’s like there’s a part of me that’s become receptive to them.

Here are a few examples:
  • Things that resonate with me, like the lyrics of a song, or the reminder of a childhood memory, or a sentence on social media.
  • Things I see. Anything from a random image on a website to a person in an airport.
  • Things I hear. It could be a comment in a meeting at work, a line of dialogue in a film, or a particular item on the news that catches my attention.
  • Things I read. I know there is a view that all stories fit into one of seven (or is it thirty-six?!) basic plots, but there are certainly thousands of different ways to be inspired by other settings and events, both imagined and historical.  
Of course, the challenge then becomes how to use all of these ideas. It can be a bit like herding cats. But as long as I keep noticing them, I figure I’ll always have something to write about. 

In terms of the Legacy of Androva series, I’m working out the final story at the moment. However, I already have a shortlist of questions for potential future books, and I’m nowhere near ready to choose between them. I’ve got a feeling I may have to write a couple of first chapters to help me decide which world to create πŸ€”
I guess this qualifies as a nice problem to have!

If you are a writer, how do you decide what to write about? Where do your ideas tend to come from? Thank you for reading today’s post!

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