Forum Friday: What was the first part of your WIP that came to you?

It’s amazing to me how many places stories can spring from and what wild directions they can grow in. Every story begins as a single idea, whether in a scene, an image, a character, a name, a superpower, a concept, a line, a title, a prompt, etc.

Drawing from my own experience, the starting point seems different for just about every work. Where one is inspired by a dream, another unfolds entirely from the title. A short story I wrote for fun began with a prompt (internet matchmaking) and the first line that came to me: “Peter McBunterbeans was always making bets, and almost always losing them.”

How about you? What was the very first part of your work in progress that came to you?

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14 thoughts on “Forum Friday: What was the first part of your WIP that came to you?

  1. For one book, it was the image of a girl standing in the rain. A dream initiated another idea, and a fit of giggles with a friend over something very random sparked something else. I don’t know if I will ever complete all the ideas that come to me, but I really enjoy the ‘What if’ moments that lead to plot ideas. They’re everywhere! And so much fun to think about. 🙂

  2. My novel’s full of little experiences and dreams I’ve had – walking home and crying in the rain (boy troubles), boy troubles, family dynamics, sitting in my room freezing cold when my heating broke at uni, people watching on a staircase at a party, being very drunk in a club. The first chapter I wrote was inspired by autumn leaves cartwheeling across the ground outside my halls of residence. I remember coming back from my lecture to my room and starting up my computer to write a novel – about five years ago. I then just sat back and wondered who the characters in my novel would be, what would happen to them, what themes did I want to write about. My head became full with messy thoughts that didn’t link whatsoever – which is why I nearly abandoned my WIP, or did for at least a year or two. I started writing about autumn leaves being blown inside a church, and eventually this scene became my third chapter.

    • Brilliant! And ahaha, boy troubles. This may seem somewhat random, but have you seen a movie called Brick? One of the things you mention (the people-watching on a staircase at a party) makes me think of that, in which there was a similar scene.

    • Funny how the ending can come at the beginning sometimes… But a concept is a great place to start! Actually, that’s how The Good Karma Project got started as well 😉 I love the idea of a series of short meditations!

  3. I love your post – what a great question! The first thing from my WIP came to me while I was doing a long stint of incredibly boring research for a professor. It’s funny how some of the best ideas come to us when we’re not even thinking about writing at all.

  4. My story derived from a dream. My dream was the story of these characters and I kept waking only to return to the same story. I was restless so I got up and began to write the dream and it is now turning into my first novel.

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