Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Story Food

Stories, like all living things, start out small. One tiny seed of an idea can grow and branch and lead to more ideas, until you've got enough story for a ten book series.

But this won't happen all by itself. Stories, like all living things, need food.

How do you feed stories? What gives you that feeling that there's something growing inside you, something that has to be told.

For me, experiencing great stories always helps my own stories to grow. When I go too long without reading, my stories tend to get stunted. I'm trying to keep up a healthy diet of books, with the occasional movie or play for dessert.

I also like to participate in other creative activities. Music, woodworking, and the odd sewing project give me a change of pace and help pass the time while I wait for new ideas to sprout.

Travel is great story food for me. Seeing new places and meeting new people always sparks new growth in my forest of story ideas.

And now my favorite kind of story food, NON-fiction. I love to watch documentary films, listen to NPR, read books about nature, science, art, history, medicine, ANYTHING! My latest find is DK's Eyewitness Books series that my eight-year-old brings home from the school library. Full of pictures and interesting little facts, they're a story feast! Oh, uh, was I writing a blog post? Sorry, I started looking through the Eyewitness book instead.

So how do you feed your stories?


  1. Ooh, great post, Rebecca! How is Hawaii by the way? :D

    I feed my stories by watching related movies, related documentaries, research, when my characters whisper to me, I can't resist their siren calls. Sometimes I just go back and reread my novel, or listen to music that fits the mood of my book!

    Thanks for making me think. What fed Earthcrosser? (I've always wondered what the significance of the toy elevator was...)

    ♥.•*¨ Elizabeth ¨*•.♥

  2. Hey Elizabeth! Thanks for your comment. And Hawaii is lovely. Simply walking outside my door is story food.

    Earthcrosser came out of the three summers I spent in college as a research assistant for an asteroid scientist at Los Alamos National Lab. Plus everything I ever learned about do-it-yourself living.

  3. Books are my favorite story food. But sitting down and having a great chat about my WIP with a friend who will ask the tough questions about the nitty gritty details is the Thanksgiving of story food.

  4. The best story food for me comes from my husband and three children. They could keep me going forever. :-)

  5. I love the Eyewitness books. (Whenever I'm in Barnes and Noble, I gravitate toward the kid's turnstyle that has every one ever made.) And thankfully, there's all kinds of 'foods' out there. I can't imagine writing a hundred years ago without a computer (love the internet), telephones (to call for instant feedback), dvd's, and a modern day library that draws from all the libraries in the county. But then again, a hundred years ago, people interacted more . . . Anyway, great post!

  6. Reading and Research. And people watching :-)


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