Well now folks, the weeks are flying!!
Today on Irish Writers Wednesday I am delighted to welcome an author that many of you are very familiar with, Caroline Finnerty.
Caroline has written a number of very successful novels, but today she has written a special post for Swirl and Thread, entitled ‘The Seed of an Idea‘.
Caroline shares with us all a little about how that one single idea could be the inspiration behind your next novel.
I’ll hand you over to Caroline now…
The Seed of an Idea
By Caroline Finnerty
A question that I and I’m guessing all writers get asked a lot is ‘where do you get your ideas?’
I always struggle to answer that one because I’m not even sure myself.
For the most part they literally seem to come out of thin air. I will admit to being a daydreamer, I love nothing more than playing out fantasies in my head (Not that kind! They’re usually quite boring about utility rooms and dust-sucking machines) but I have noticed certain times which seem to be better for me, usually the hour before I get up in the morning, where I’m half awake (although I should say this is rare these days as I’m usually woken very early by little people).
Also when I’m driving I love to let my mind wander. Or I might hear something on the TV or radio that will trigger something. And housework is good too (stick with me here people), it seems to be when my mind is occupied doing something mundane like washing floors that my subconscious gets to take over for a while.
My first book In a Moment was written after I had just become a mother for the first time.
I was overwhelmed by the strength of my feelings for my new daughter but was also feeling pretty scared by how much I wanted to protect her.
That feeling of vulnerability sowed the seed for In a Moment and then the idea for the storyline came to me one day when I was driving.
I think writers are always switched on. We are intuitively soaking up ideas all the time and thinking in terms of descriptions.
The idea for The Last Goodbye came from a story a friend told me one day about a woman she knew who discovered that she had an aggressive form of cancer while she was pregnant. She refused to take the treatment offered and unfortunately neither she nor her baby survived.
This story really affected me when I heard it and so I decided to explore the dilemma faced if a pregnant woman finds out that she has cancer in the book.
Sometimes a character will arrive fully formed like little Jack in Into The Night Sky.
I had this image of cheeky, tenacious boy with a love of reading just arriving into a bookshop one day.
That was the start of it and then the other bits of the story followed afterwards.
I had a great idea for a story at three a.m. the other night. The whole plot was formed in my mind; there was even a brilliant twist at the end. But I’ve a six-month old baby who wouldn’t be a fan of sleeping so I’m seriously sleep deprived and I was too lazy to turn on my lamp and write it down. I told myself I’d remember it in the morning.
Wrong. I still have no idea what it was about and it probably wasn’t even good but I still wish I had written it down.
So my advice for all writers is to keep a notebook for jotting down ideas as soon as they strike. If you think of a nice description, storyline or maybe a good title for a future book, write it down or record it as a voice memo in your phone because if you’re anything like me, you will forget.
If you think you’d like to write but don’t know where to start, rather than get hung up on having a fully formed plot in your head, start with a seed and see how you get on.
Often once you start writing with one idea, lots more will come. New characters jump in from nowhere and start screaming for your attention, subplots start to take shape and this is when the creative process really starts and the fun begins.
Caroline thank you so much for this inspiring post and for joining me today on Swirl and Thread for Irish Writers Wednesday.
I’m sure there is someone right now grabbing a notebook and writing down those important pointers that will someday be a published novel!!
You can read more about Caroline in the Bio below where you will find all the details to follow Caroline on Social Media.
Hope to see y’all back here next week for more Irish Writers Wednesday with Cork born author of Distress Signals, Catherine Ryan Howard.
Thank you for dropping by
Caroline Finnerty is the Irish fiction author of the novels, ‘In a Moment‘, ‘The Last Goodbye‘, ‘Into The Night Sky‘ and ‘My Sister’s Child‘.
Her stories touch on real family dilemmas and always have an emotional edge at their heart. She is currently working on her fifth novel, ‘The Lies She Told‘.
In 2013 Caroline compiled the charity anthology ‘If I was a Child Again‘ in aid of Barnardos. She has also contributed to many national magazines and newspapers.
She lives on the banks of the Grand Canal in County Kildare with her husband, four young children and their dog and likes to hang about on Twitter @cfinnertywriter, Facebook where she can be found under carolinefinnertywriter and her latest obsession is Instagram where she is @carolinefinnerty.
You can find out more about her on www.carolinefinnerty.ie