Unveiling the Journey Part 1


Story Development

Where I Get My Story Ideas

Ideas for a story can come from anywhere. A spark of inspiration may ignite from a conversation, pictures, other stories, films and even something I have daydreamed about. My inspiration for my Dark Faerie Tale trilogy came from browsing online book covers for fairy tales and fairy tale retellings. At first, I had the idea to write retellings, to take the bare bones of the original stories and flesh them out. I imagined each character having their own story e.g. Snow White, Beauty and the Beast, Little Red Riding Hood etc. However, when I began to write, the story turned into a mashup of several fairy tales. Many of the fairy stories I read and loved as a child didn’t have strong female characters. I wanted to redress that, but make them human by having faults and weaknesses. I’m not fond of the Mary Sue trope.

The inspiration for Dawn-Wolf came from a conversation I had with my daughter and niece, over twelve years ago. I originally intended to write a middle-grade story about a family of wolves who adopted a fox cub. I wrote two chapters in 2013 and could not find the motivation to continue. It remained untouched in my Word document files until 2018 when I manifested a completely different story direction. I would now be writing an urban fantasy story for a YA audience. Again the story came to a halt due to procrastination and writer’s block. I picked up the story once again in 2021 and began to develop it with the help of two of my close author friends. This brings me to the next sub-topic:

Character Development

All my stories start first with the development of the main character. I imagine what they might look like, and their age, although their physical characteristics don’t always come to mind straight away. It’s far easier to imagine a fairy tale character already in existence. If you recall from an early newsletter about, how I write, I confessed to being a Plantser. If you haven’t read it you can find it here: How I write

Many of my story characters, usually side characters, develop by themselves as I write. The ideas pop into my head and they are written down. Sometimes it feels as though the stories are writing themselves, typos and all. Although, I have on occasion found myself writing about a character with blue eyes, who mysteriously changes eye colour halfway through the story. If I feel I have mistakenly changed a character’s personality I usually put that to rights. Thank goodness for editors and proofreaders! I have started writing down a character’s appearance and attributes on index cards, so hopefully I can avoid embarrassing errors. You have to get into the minds of your creations. I admit that I find the villains more interesting.

The main characters in every story must grow and learn from their experiences. They need to have motivation and goals. Their development is shown directly or indirectly through narration, dialogue and interaction with other characters within the story.