I’m finishing up revising my first manuscript while my second sits on the back burner to stew (I think all stories need to stew for a little while before you start back at them with revisions) and I’m now plotting my third.  It’s been floating around my head for a while (actually my muse has been poking it into my brain violently so I don’t forget) and it’s time to get it moving.

I check out my Pinterest board for all the pictures I’ve pinned there for this story (another thing the muse makes me do as I get older and more absent-minded) and notice I have quite a few story boards started.  Some have only a few pins while others have twenty or more.  Yup, the ol’ muse has certainly been busy.  Sometimes I wonder what she’s taking to get so revved up and wish I had some to keep my energy level so high.

As I peruse each board, I wonder where all these came from.  I thought I would share with you where I (and my muse, she expects equal credit) get some of my story ideas from.  I have to say some are interesting.

Dreams – Oh, sure you knew this was coming.  But it is a great place to get ideas.  Though I find that my dreams only give me a very small part of the story.  The manuscript I’m currently finishing was one of my dream ideas.  But really only the very first scene.  As I woke up I had this feeling that the dream scene needed to be expanded.  That’s when the muse really takes over.  I’m still basically asleep (half-way anyhow) and she kicks into gear and figures out how my tiny little scene can translate into characters, conflict and plot.  I’ve actually gotten several story ideas this way.  I’m not sure when my muse sleeps, but I know it’s not at night.

Pictures – When I first started using Pinterest, I only pinned pictures that I had googled specifically.  But after a while I realized that some of these pictures might be good for later.  So I created my hero board and my heroine board.  Just so I’d have a storage place for when musie whacked a new story idea at me and I needed to record it quick.  Go shopping in the hero and heroine board.  Now I also have a romantic pictures board and have expanded into a Daddy and baby board too.  But these surplus pictures have come in handy while providing inspiration.  I have several story ideas that floated into my head just from pictures I’d pinned.  That was easy.

Driving – I have to admit this usually happens when I am driving very long distances.  I’ve had a few instances in the last few years where I’ve been in a vehicle by myself for upward to ten hours.  During one trip, as scores of 18-wheelers cruised past, I suddenly started thinking about those handsome truckers and how I could fix them up with the honey of their dreams.  On a ten hour trip, there’s plenty of time to figure out details.  The troublesome part is remembering them long enough to write them down.  I haven’t yet mastered driving and taking notes.

Songs – Sure, songs sometimes have their own story already embedded in them but often just the lyrics or feeling of the song is enough to start me thinking (and my muse to be flipping cartwheels).   Songs especially get a helping hand when they are accompanied by a ten hour drive.   Sometimes you even think about the singer and what their life is like with the fame and fortune.  Hmmm, could there be a story there?

Occupations – Okay, I know this is weird but I have often thought of certain jobs as not being apropos to romance.  And with some jobs I would have to agree (mortician anyone?).  But it does get me thinking about other jobs and what a romance would look like with someone from that field.  And who might be an interesting person to hook them up with.  Well, after the conflict, fighting and making up of course.

Friends – I had a friend post something on FB once about how romance was getting younger and younger with NA and YA and she wondered if it would hit middle school next.  I made a comment about writing a Kindergarten romance and she laughed but said I should do that.  Yup, next thing you know I had a murder mystery surrounding people who all went to Kindergarten together.

Other – One of my weirdest ideas (I think the muse was taking some serious medication at this time) came about when I was thinking of names.  I thought of the name Jamie.  Could be a guy or a girl.  But then I wondered when you would call a real romance novel hero Jamie.  Wouldn’t he be more of a Jameson?  Of course he would.  But then all of a sudden I had this sassy girl in my head smirking at this smart dressed, rich, Alpha male and calling him Jamie.  Of course he would hate it!  But why would he put up with it?  Yup, that morphed into yet another great storyline.

I know there are writers who wonder how they’ll come up with their next plot but I don’t think that’ll happen to me.  Not for a while at least.  I have over twenty story ideas lined up waiting for me on Pinterest.  I’ve only finished two.  And if I know my muse she’ll be throwing me a dozen more before I get halfway through these boards.  Hopefully by this time, I’ll have published one of them.

Do you have any interesting inspiration for your story ideas?  I’d love to hear them.

And what would you do with this picture?beach dad


About kari lemor

Author of contemporary and romantic suspense. Love on the Line series now available from Kensington Publishing. Storms of New England series available now from The Wild Rose Press.
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  1. ravenclark says:

    Hey Kari. Love this post, and I do much of the same as you for inspiration. I got on Pinterest a little while ago, and I love looking at pictures to get my creative juices flowing. 😀

    On occupations and certain ones not working, on one hand, I think that’s true. Some jobs just don’t lend well to a romance. But on the other hand. I think anything is possible, and it’s all in how you do it. A romance with a mortician for example. Have you seen the movie Only the Lonely? It’s a romantic comedy starring the late John Candy and Allie Sheedy. The heroine is a mortician with crippling shyness, and the hero is a cop with an overbearing mother who wants to run his life. It’s a brilliant movie, and trust me, it works. Allie Sheedy’s character is fantastic, and they even made the whole overweight mamma’s boy hero loveable. I know, it’s a movie, which isn’t the same, but I also think it’s a movie that would translate well into a book without losing anything. If you haven’t seen it, you should. It’s a great example of how anything can work if done well.

    Thanks for sharing!


    • kari lemor says:

      Hi Raven,
      Thanks for filling me in on the movie. Although I do think it’s different in a comedy/romance. I would expect that to have some funny occupation. But I wonder … is there a way to write a story about a mortician and make him as sexy as ever??? Hmm, will have to let the muse stew on that one.

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