Saturday, February 13, 2016

2/13/16 I answered a friend's question

My friend, Kimberly Shursen, asked people about how they get their ideas. She also asked other questions, but that's the one that stuck with me. By the way, she's a wonderful thriller writer and I suggest you check out her books on Amazon or else on her website

Anyway, my response on her blog was so long that I thought it would make a blog entry on my site. So here it is:

I really enjoyed your post, Kimberly, and also enjoy your thrillers immensely. As you know, I write different types of books. Mine are called cozy mysteries. I am working on number six right now. Where do I get my ideas? From people. From conversations I've overheard. From questions I've asked. One whole book was totally conceived on the patio of a Panera Bread Company when a friend said, "Wouldn't it be funny if...?" And we went off on a riff that gave life to one of my favorite works. (Note: That book is Can You Picture This?) I write mostly at Panera and that's because I'm an extrovert and get energy from people. At home I have a hard time writing even though I have a great office.

So in the summer I'm on the patio there and in the winter I'm ensconced in booth number 2, from 8 to 11 AM. I call them my office hours.

My characters tell me the plot. When I start I have a general idea, like right now--my book Who's the Rogue? started when I was in a play at our community theatre and noticed there were some dark areas and also that the basement was a little scary at times. I thought, "What if a murder would happen there? How would that be able to happen?" I didn't want to make it the stereotypical theater murder where a sandbag falls on someone's head or a real gun is substituted for the fake one. So I came up with another idea. Then a friend asked me if I'd use his name in a book. And voila'! Wes Friday is the Broadway star brought to my hometown to star in a show. And so it goes....

Wow. Sorry this is so long, Kimberly. Your questions inspired me. I'm going to copy and paste it to my blog. :)

So, do you have any questions for me about writing? Either my writing or writing in general? I'm certainly not the foremost expert on writing, but I do know a thing or two.


Gin said...

When you've been stumped for an ending, what triggered your greatest "Ah, ha!" moment?

Jerilyn Dufresne, author said...

That's a great question and I don't really know the answer offhand. Each book is so different. In the very first one, the ending just flowed. I didn't know who the murderer was until I was writing the last chapter. In my work in progress, it hit me in the middle of the book. So I quickly wrote a few paragraphs of the ending and then just had to connect the dots from the middle to the end.

Some of my friends plot out everything beforehand. I'd like to do that, but it just doesn't work for me.

As for an "ah, ha" moment, in Will You Marry Me? the murderer kind of looked at me and grinned (in my head of course) and I really did go AHA!

Gin said...

Thanks for the answer. It's neat being allowed to probe inside a writer's mind, particularly one who kills off her characters. ;)