Swoon Author Jennifer Honeybourn: Where Do Ideas Come From?
I often get asked about where my ideas come from or where I find inspiration. Some days the ideas flow easier than others, but I do think that inspiration is everywhere. For me, travel often sparks my creativity. I like unusual settings and very often I get a kernel of an idea from a place and then I work to put my own spin on it.
In the case of my debut novel, Wesley James Ruined My Life, I attended a renaissance faire and the uniqueness of the event as well as the actors who brought it to life started my brain buzzing. I ended up borrowing that setting and creating a fictional medieval restaurant, Tudor Tymes, and the rest of the novel came to me from there.
With my second novel, When Life Gives You Demons, I wanted to take a crack at writing a paranormal YA, but something light and funny. As with Wesley James Ruined My Life, I knew I wanted to set the book in Seattle, and I wanted to incorporate some of the landmarks I loved that I thought would fit well with the story, like the Seattle Great Wheel and the Freemont Troll.
Books can be a great source of inspiration. I’m always reading and I’m constantly in awe of other writers. Studying the way another writer has done something is a great way to learn, along with reading craft books (Stephen King’s On Writing is a great one). I also turn to movies when I’m feeling stuck—I’ve found my way out of plot jams and strengthened character arcs by watching movies.
Retellings are a great way to generate ideas as well. Coming up with a fresh spin on a classic, flipping the story on its head by placing it in a different setting or telling it from a different character’s point of view, can be the perfect ways to start.
While it may seem like there are no new ideas out there, there are plenty of creative ways to tell a story in your voice and plenty of places to find inspiration, if you just know where to look for it.