Deb Sarah on the Ideas that Haunt Her

I share this dreamy picture of Paris with you because a BIG idea came to me recently for a new novel … set in Paris. I know, you’re saying “but wait, don’t you have book #2 coming out this spring, and book #3 is in progress and in need of finishing?” Yes, I know, I can hardly keep my own novels straight these days. But, while I may be sleep-deprived, overworked and someone who sometimes can’t remember my name or what day of week it is, I also know that when a big idea hits me, I have to do something with it. So, I jotted down a synopsis of this book, which we’ll call, for fun, THE PARIS STORY, and sent it to my agent. She loved it and gave me her blessing. So now I have a story brewing in my mind for book #4. As this idea simmers, I’ll be working on finishing book #3 (here I go confusing myself again—what’s my name again?) and doing a ton of research for this next book. I just ordered a stack of books to dig into this summer with research in mind, and I can’t wait.

I haven’t been an “author” very long (and frankly the title still feels like one I need to grow into!), but here’s what I do know: Once you get into the groove of writing fiction, at least for me, new book ideas start streaming in from all areas of your life. You hear a song on the radio, overhear a conversation at the cafe, or catch an old movie with an unusual plot— and bam, novel inspiration. And while I continually get ideas, I have learned to sift out the ones that don’t move me. But when a story idea really moves me, I go a little bonkers. I dive right into it in my mind, thinking of character arcs, plot threads, mysterious elements. I also think of titles. Oddly, I’m someone who needs a good title in front of me as I write. It’s like my north star. It keeps the theme in front of me and makes the draft feel more like the novel it will eventually become.

Anyway, enough rambling from me. Can you tell I’m excited about my new big idea?! I can’t wait to tell you more about it.

P.S. Don’t you just love Paris?!

xo, Sarah

16 Replies to “Deb Sarah on the Ideas that Haunt Her”

  1. I think that’s the best place to be in–not Paris, but in that wonderful centrum of ideas swirling around. Before you can finish with one, three more are whirling, trying to grab your attention. I usually use the metaphor of little kids pulling at my skirt, but yours sounds far more romantic!

  2. I DO love Paris! Haven’t been there since the Dark Ages BC (Before Children), but I remember it with great fondness.

    I also love when ideas rain down from everywhere. Gathering them up and stuffing them into my Ideas file is fun. Sometimes, if I’m lucky, they still look good to me when I pull them back out later. Those are the ones I know are keepers.

    1. Linda, I love what you say about ideas “looking for you.” This is EXACTLY what my Paris idea did for me. πŸ™‚

  3. The more creative I am, the more I find I’m getting new ideas and seeing new things. Being open to new ideas means we see them everywhere.

    And now you get to take a trip to Paris and have it be tax-deductible!

  4. Ooh, Paris. Can’t say I’ve been there – need a travel companion?!
    For me, ideas either start flooding in from everywhere and en mass, or they are nary to be found. Savor the moments of the flood!

    1. Emily, yes it is feast or famine with ideas, isn’t it? And, you are most welcome to come along for the ride! I have room in the suitcase! πŸ™‚ xo

  5. J’aime Paris! I have an IOU from my 40th birthday just ripe for the spending. If it weren’t for life, kids, etc! But I know Paris is there. And for now that’s enough. Research should start with croissants of course.

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