Monday, 14 June 2021

Where do romance writers get their ideas?

 By Sharon Bryant

Where do you get your writing ideas? I recently posed this question to some writer friends. Their responses were enthusiastic, creative and varied.

One friend with strong visualisation skills envisages characters and situations. Another finds inspiration in dreams, even nightmares.

The most common response was that writers get their ideas from everyday life. Sometimes a writer may have no idea how a particular thought entered his or her consciousness. The best ideas may pop into a writer's head during the process of writing.

Where do you start?

So where does an aspiring author begin? Overheard conversations, newspapers, magazines, the internet, books, movies, people you've met, and situations you've encountered may all play a part in the writing ideas you generate.

The role of writing exercises

Some beginning writers find writing exercises designed to promote creativity most helpful. These can include letting your stream of consciousness run free, the use of creative writing prompts, or writing a story then rewriting it in a different character's viewpoint. Another useful approach is flash fiction where you start with basic knowledge of your plot, characters and conflict. Next you sit down, and immediately write your story in 500 words or less.

Where do you get your writing ideas?
Have you ever used creative writing exercises like the ones I've described? 
Were they helpful?

I love to laugh at life's eccentricities.
I love to learn more about the culture and history of the places I visit.
I love to love precious time with my family and friends.


  1. Hi Sharon, It's an interesting question. In some of my stories, a character forms and 'tells' me his or her story. Other times I might spin an idea from something I've seen in the news or read. We all need to be open to whenever the muse might strike!

    1. Thanks Alyssa. It’s fascinating to learn where writers get their ideas.

  2. I'm a very visual person and get my ideas from pictures, paintings, scenery etc. Although overheard conversations are also fabulous! Although not writing, I love using prompt writing exercises to 'warm me up'. Always a fun thing to do, and a great source of inspiration. Also, the famous 'what if...' scenario always works for me. I find groups a great way to kick something off. Half a dozen minds are always better than just me! Thanks for this fun post, Sharon.

    1. Thanks Miranda. Like you, I get inspired when using writing prompts and from discussing my ideas with others.

  3. Hi Sharon. Ideas come to me in varied places and ways. Song lyrics, quotes, or when researching bring a lot of ideas. In the shower or while driving is a good place I've found for idea flashes. Once I get an idea though it is strong and usually centered around one main character. It is usually their story I end up telling despite it being a romance. For A Scandalous Wager it was definitely Lisbeth's story. For Collector of Hearts it was Robert's story. Then I find the other main character is like the perfect accompaniment.

    1. Thanks Cassandra. It’s really interesting to learn more about your writing processes.

  4. Hi Sharon. Like Cassandra, I'll listen to a song or read a magazine or hear a snippet of conversation and a story forms. Most times it's a character that appears and I want to know who they are and what they're doing right now. Though both main characters are important, I find the stories I write are more about one character.

  5. Hi Sharon! My inspiration usually comes from reading - a snippet from a magazine, a non-fiction book I've read for research, a novel with an interesting secondary character I'm drawn to.


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