Treasure Chest of Ideas by Deborah Lytton

I think of ideas as precious gems in the treasure chest of my imagination. My ideas come from different places. Some are from observations of real life and some are from my dreams. They come from thoughts of "what if" or "how." Perhaps they come from a place of powerful emotion like joy or pain. Other times, they are part of a message I want to share with readers.

My novel JANE IN BLOOM was inspired by an interview I watched on a news program years ago about children who felt invisible in families where another child needed more attention. I wanted to tell the story of a forgotten sister who was invisible to her family. I thought readers might relate to a character who needed to be seen and heard. The story grew from there. My newest series, RUBY STARR, was inspired by my daughter's request to write a funny story for her. She was in fifth grade at the time, so I started with a fifth grade student who loved reading and viewed the world through the pages in a book. I thought there might be readers who would see themselves in Ruby. The rest of the series came out of that character sketch.

If you find yourself running out of ideas, look into your own memories to see if there is an experience that could give rise to a story. Is there a dream you had for yourself when you were in elementary school or middle school that could be the center of a book? If this doesn't help, ask yourself what you would want to read if you were ten years old. Or where you would want to visit if only for one single night. You can even ask yourself "what if" questions to see if they create inspiration for you.

Your ideas are infinite. Trust in your imagination and keep writing!


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