It has been raining steady for three days now and I’m wondering if I should be building an ark. In a small break between down pours I did venture out into the garden only to have to make a run for it as a swarm of mosquitos attacked from the nearby woods. A wet spring has made a wonderful breeding ground for the vampire-like insects. As I slam the door, I can hear them surrounding the house while buzzing “Blood! Blood!” over and over.
Mother Nature seems to have developed a mean streak lately. She has also allowed a bull frog to set up residency in my garden pond. He has a croak that not only makes sleep impossible but it sounds like a backed up drain pipe. He’s got lungs that an opera singer would envy. I’m beginning to understand why the French tear their legs off and cook them up in garlic butter. This guy deserves to die!
What this is all leading to is that as an author of over a dozen published books, (Encounters, Seasons, Three Doses of Murder, Murder in Triplicate, Journeys, Gold Mountain, America, The Little Book of Big Christmas Stories, Iron Rose Bleeding, The Dark Matter Corps, Tides, The Sahara Harris Series) I’m often asked where I get my ideas. My answer is they are all around me. Life is just full of wonderful stories whether it starts with something as simple as blood thirsty mosquitoes or fog-horn frogs or deals with very complex and emotional human issues.
Getting an idea is simple. What is hard is developing that idea into a novel. For me, the key to success is to ask myself what is the raison d’etre for the story. What is its reason for being? Really that’s the back bone of any story. A story has to have a message. Something the author wants to convey about a life or a situation that is reflected in the events that unfold within the story. Without a raison d’etre a story lacks focus. It’s missing its backbone.
When story tellers stood in the market places and preformed for their audiences they told stories that explained life’s events in terms that an uneducated populous could understand. They were stories about gods, and super heroes and why thunder happens or what created the sun and moon. Bards knew instinctively that the story is the message and the message the story.
Today, we deal with a much more sophisticated audience but the basic rule still holds true. My advice to authors starting out is pick a message, a raison d’etre and then just look around you for the story idea to encapsulate it in.
Now if I can just figure out what the raison d’etre for mosquitoes and annoying bull frogs are, I would be a happier person.
Anne Azel’s Award Winning Novels:
Encounters, Seasons, Three Doses of Murder, Murder in Triplicate,
Gold Mountain, Iron Rose Bleeding, The Little Book of Big Christmas
Stories, Journeys, America, Tides, The Dark Matter Corps and coming
Soon the Sahara Harris Series
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Visit Anne’s page: http://canadianlesfic.com/authors/anne-azel/