I am the tour stop for this amazing Around the world in 80 days tour for Ingrid Jonach's When the World was Flat (and we were in love). Seriously, have you seen what the book looks like? AMAZING! And the story itself? Yep, you have to watch out for my review! But for now, I am hosting Ingrid today to discuss how to capture ideas and turn them into stories. Read on!
Guest Post: Capturing Ideas and Turning them into Stories
Everyone walks past a thousand story ideas every day, according to Orson Scott Card, author of Ender's Game. “The good writers are the ones who see five or six of them. Most people don't see any.”
I keep a range of mental and physical notes for use in future manuscripts. The other day I overheard a woman giving a friend a detailed account of her diet – and I mean every single morsel that she could and couldn't eat. "I can eat legumes, but I can't eat nuts. I can't have dairy. I can't eat bread. I can eat fruit, but not apricots. I can't eat…" It went on and on. It was a combination of mind-numbing and hilarious. I immediately made a note for a future character in a future manuscript in my iPhone.
Yes, I capture most of my story ideas in the pre-installed Notes app on my iPhone. In fact, I managed to locate a vague note about When the World was Flat (and we were in love) from May 2009 to share with you today!
I will occasionally record notes in my diary (Moleskine, of course, because I totally bought into the hype that it was the type of notebook used by Vincent Van Gogh and Ernest Hemingway) and I must say that writing in a notebook does make me feel more literary than using my iPhone. Roald Dahl used to record all of his story ideas in red exercise books and once said, “Without my little notebook, I would be quite helpless.”
Mark Twain also carried around a number of pocket books throughout his life, where he not only recorded story ideas, but also sketches from his travels and his thoughts on religion and politics. Apparently, he also wrote dirty jokes in them! I am in awe of his notebooks, because he actually had them custom made with tabbed pages that would assist him with locating the next blank page.
But German novelist Thomas Mann said, “The task of a writer consists in being able to make something out of an idea.”
J. R. R. Tolkien came up with the idea for The Hobbit when he was grading exam papers. He came across a blank sheet and for whatever reason he wrote down: In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. He then had to work out what a hobbit was and why it lived underground.
Stephanie Meyer famously dreamed about her characters in Twilight. She says on her website that in her dream “two people were having an intense conversation in a meadow in the woods. One of these people was just your average girl. The other person was fantastically beautiful, sparkly, and a vampire.”
C. S. Lewis also dreamed about one of his characters when he was sixteen. It was a daydream about a half-man and half-goat rushing through snowy woods carrying an umbrella and parcels. He was about forty before he actually started writing The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.
And I thought it was appropriate to mention this one during my Around the World in 80 Days Blog Tour: Jules Verne got the idea for his famous novel from an advertisement he spotted in a newspaper in Paris, offering tourists the chance to travel around the world in just 80 days.
There was no dream or daydream with When the World was Flat (and we were in love). And I was not inspired by a newspaper, but by another novel – Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. The actual idea, however, came to me while I was in the car back in 2009. I had been on the way to visit my in-laws on a long weekend. Luckily, I was the passenger, so I was able to start writing immediately. I believe I finished the first two chapters, as well as some plot notes, that same weekend.
Amazingly, I was able to take that idea all the way to publication. Although, it did take another four-and-a-bit years, because, as Fred Saberhagen (author of The Dracula Tape) said, “Actually ideas are everywhere. It's the paperwork, that is, sitting down and thinking them into a coherent story, trying to find just the right words, that can and usually does get to be labor.”
About the book:
When the World was Flat (and we were in love)
Author: Ingrid Jonach
Publisher: Strange Chemistry
Release Date: 3 September 2013 in the US and Canada, and 5 September 2013 in the UK, as well as worldwide as ebook and audio.
Looking back, I wonder if I had an inkling that my life was about to go from ordinary to extraordinary.
When sixteen-year-old Lillie Hart meets the gorgeous and mysterious Tom Windsor-Smith for the first time, it’s like fireworks — for her, anyway. Tom looks as if he would be more interested in watching paint dry; as if he is bored by her and by her small Nebraskan town in general.
But as Lillie begins to break down the walls of his seemingly impenetrable exterior, she starts to suspect that he holds the answers to her reoccurring nightmares and to the impossible memories which keep bubbling to the surface of her mind — memories of the two of them, together and in love.
When she at last learns the truth about their connection, Lillie discovers that Tom has been hiding an earth-shattering secret; a secret that is bigger — and much more terrifying and beautiful — than the both of them. She also discovers that once you finally understand that the world is round, there is no way to make it flat again.
An epic and deeply original sci-fi romance, taking inspiration from Albert Einstein’s theories and the world-bending wonder of true love itself.
Ingrid Jonach writes books for children and young adults, including the chapter books The Frank Frankie and Frankie goes to France published by Pan Macmillan, and When the World was Flat (and we were in love) published by Strange Chemistry.
Since graduating from university with a Bachelor of Arts in Professional Writing (Hons) in 2005, Ingrid has worked as a journalist and in public relations, as well as for the Australian Government.
Ingrid loves to promote reading and writing, and has been a guest speaker at a number of schools and literary festivals across Australia, where she lives with her husband Craig and their pug dog Mooshi.
Despite her best efforts, neither Craig nor Mooshi read fiction.
Find out more at www.ingridjonach.com
Enter below for your chance to win one of two awesome prize packages as part of the Around the World in 80 Days Blog Tour for When the World was Flat (and we were in love) by Ingrid Jonach.
There will be two winners worldwide. Each prize package includes:
• a signed copy of When the World was Flat (and we were in love)
• a pair of silver plated key-shaped earrings in a When the World was Flat (and we were in love) gift box
• a When the World was Flat (and we were in love) bookmark.
The competition will run until 21 October 2013 and the winners will be announced on this page and via www.ingridjonach.com