April 2, 2012

What Kind of Stories Do You Like To Read?

As a writer, I'm often asked how I get my ideas. I wish I could say, a bolt of lightening jolts me out of my everyday life, and I'm delivered a brilliant idea with a full blown plot. I can't say that's ever happened to me, and usually my plots evolve. I get a small germ of an idea and then I start trying to figure out how to express that thought, what kinds of characters and what turning points are going to express my theme. And theme...that doesn't usually appear until after the first draft.

But the reason I tell you this is because I recently realized that many of my stories are about brides or weddings. Here, are just a few of my "Bride" stories. There is A Scarlet Bride, The Burnett Brides - The Rancher, The Burnett Brides - The Outlaw, and The Burnett Brides - The Marshall. I also wrote The Wanted Bride, which I hope to have available June 1. It seemed like an appropriate time of the year for that book.




It kind of surprised me that I'd written so many stories about brides. Then I remember the series I wrote based on three women who all learn they are married to the same man within the first five pages of the book.
Recently, I've been tackling a secret baby book, and I thought that was different for me, until I realized that I'd already written one secret baby book.

Many times as a writer we're looking for unusual plots, but find we're writing the same plots with a different twist. According to one book I read there are only twenty plots in the world and all of our stories are based on these twenty plots.


I'm finishing up the book I've spent the last year on and getting ready to plot my next story. I always have wisps of stories, just not complete plots. Right now I'm juggling three different ideas that are not complete.

So tell me what's your favorite type of story? Secret babies, mistaken identity, marriage of convenience or inconvenience, brides, cowboys or maybe it's vampires. Do you have a favorite plot? What type of plots do you like to read. What story lines do you not see much of? Does it matter if it's historical or contemporary?

24 comments:

Pamela Stone said...

Hi Sylvia. Great post and so true. I don't think I've written a bride book, but I tend to like reunited lovers stories. I don't mind the same plots, as long as there is a twist or something that surprises me. Characters are the key. I like unique characters who jump off the page and surprise me.

Christy Hayes said...

It is all about characters for my writing. I do love reunited lovers, but have only done one so far. Great post.

Elizabeth Essex said...

I am a historical junkie, so I love marriage of convenience plots. So much fun. After that, my favorite has got to be the second chance at love. That, I think, happens more often in the real world than love at first sight. :)

Hope your ideas lead to fabulous stories!

Cheers!

Sylvia said...

Hi Pam,
I love reunited lover stories as well. I think I've done a couple of those. Yes, characters are the key and I love them when they jump off the page.

Sylvia said...

Hi Christy,
Thanks for coming by. Yes, I love reunited lovers and have done three of those. I guess I'm trying to find some new plot device that readers enjoy.

Sylvia said...

Hi Liz,
I started out writing Historical romances and loved them. But I stuck with Americana. But I do enjoy a good marriage of convenience plot. It's fun to watch the characters fall in love. I think you're right. Love at first sight has never worked for me. I like the idea of a modern day marriage of convenience.

Vicki Batman, said...

I tend to have geeks become heroes and the heroine is surprised. So people aren't what they seem, just like in real life.

Sylvia said...

Hi Vicki,
I agree and that is always fun. What kind of plots do you put your geeks in?

Pamela Stone said...

Hey, Vicki! I was a geek in a prior job. How about a geek heroine? Just a thought.

Sylvia said...

Ohhhh....I like the geek heroine. Remember in Susan Elizabeth Phillips book Nobody's Baby But Mine. She was a total geek. Love the idea Pam. So a total geek heroine that needs a smooth talking playboy.

Sylvia said...

Let's give them a marriage of convenience/inconvenience.

Vicki Batman, said...

Geek heroine is an excellent thought, Pam & Sylvia. I hadn't thought of that. And definitely don't think Pam is a geek either.

Pamela Stone said...

Hmm, my first book, Last Resort Marriage, was a marriage of convenience story. I wasn't sure I could pull it off in a contemporary setting. Heroine wasn't exactly a geek, but she was a very corporate minded, no nonsense person and I gave her a playboy hero. I think it worked pretty well. It was fun to write anyway.

Sylvia said...

No Pam is not a geek and I read that book and enjoyed it. Marriage of Convenience is hard to pull off these days. Did anyone see the movie the Bachelor? It's an older movie about a guy whose Grandfather is tired of him not giving him grandchildren. So when the grandfather dies, the will gives him until his next birthday to get married. That's 24 hours away. Very cute movie. Not Oscar material, but fun.

Sylvia said...

No Pam is not a geek and I read that book and enjoyed it. Marriage of Convenience is hard to pull off these days. Did anyone see the movie the Bachelor? It's an older movie about a guy whose Grandfather is tired of him not giving him grandchildren. So when the grandfather dies, the will gives him until his next birthday to get married. That's 24 hours away. Very cute movie. Not Oscar material, but fun.

Sylvia said...

Okay Ladies, if you are in the Dallas area-- seek shelter. Get off line.

Sylvia said...

Okay, our tornado sirens are now going off here in Plano, so I'm seeking shelter. Later Ladies!

Kathy Ivan said...

I will read absolutely any genre, although I am partial to paranormals and historicals.

I'm a sucker for second chances at love, too. That seems to be a theme through most of my writing recently. In fact, the three arcing novells that I'm currently working all all have the theme of second chances at love.

Great post, Sylvia.

Pamela Stone said...

Everybody ok? What a day! We had tornado sirens. Damage 3/4 a mile from my old house in Arlington. The tornado that hit Lancaster went right over my house down here. Crazy insane weather.

Karilyn Bentley said...

Hi Sylvia,
Great post! I don't like secret baby books. Other than that, it depends on the mood I'm in. :) I do tend to like the ones where the woman is captured and falls in love with her captor. Not sure what that says about me. ha!

Phyllis said...

Great post Sylvia,

I am an action-adventure seeker and writer. I love putting my characters on the fast road to survival, or chasing whoever to clear the way for them.

Phyllis

Phyllis said...

Hey Pam, we're ok. A close call at my work when a tornado skimmed by my work to land just north of my building. Scary when your on the 10th floor!

Phyllis

chris k said...

I'm coming a little late to this party-

first off - if anyone cares - you can fit thirty people in the ladies room at the barnes and noble on fifteenth street!! - Yeah, that's where I was when the tornadoes blew through.

now- I love a good contemporary marriage of convenience. Catherine ANderson had a tendency to do that. Jane Graves tall tales and wedding veils was an excellent example of making a modern marriage of convenience story work.

And I also tend to be fond of books with a strong hero in protector mode. Which probably fits with the marriage of convenience when the hero is doing it to somehow protect the heroine or save her from whatever fate worse than death!! lol.

So - if anyone's ready any good MOC boks lately - pass on the name to add to my TBR pile.!!

Sylvia said...

Hi Everyone,
Sorry I disappeared, but when everything was over, I had to go visit family for the evening. The family things are now all done for awhile and I'm back to focusing on a new book.

Kathy, love reunion stories and Karilyn, I love good capture romances as well, but fear in today's world that's a little scary. Phyllis, that fits your personality to a T. We need to talk about you and Amazon....you need to be there.

Chris, Oh My God...the ladies room? We were all in the hall though some people got in the stair wells on the ends of the buidings and I didn't think that was such a great place.

As for marriage of convenience my favorite and I think that's going to be my next attempt. I haven't read a Jane Graves book since the one about the wife who came home to find her home had been sold out from under her by her husband.

Well ladies, it's been fun and sorry I wasn't around in the evening. I kept checking back after the sirens went off and figured everyone was hunkered down somewhere.