Posted by: Kathleen Mix | April 7, 2014

Writing with Passion

My story idea folder occupies a place of honor on my desk. Whenever I get a lightbulb moment, I jot down the idea or concept that might someday evolve into a story. The ideas that I stash in my folder don’t have a use by date. But many get stale and never receive more than a cursory second glance.
My best ideas don’t remain in the folder long. They crawl into my brain and refuse to leave. The stew of elements that will become a story begins to bubble quickly. Details fly into my head at odd moments of the day. Soon I’m clipping together multiple pages of notes and assigning the idea its own folder.
As my passion for an idea grows, I add notes about characters, scribble down bits of dialogue, ponder themes, analyze potential conflicts, and develop a rough outline. If I have enough passion, and know where the story is going, I begin to write.
Having passion for a story gives me a sense of comfort. It means I’ll be able to stay engaged day after day throughout the long months I’ll need to write, rewrite, and revise.
My passion doesn’t always lead me in a familiar direction. Most of my published books are romantic suspense. But many of my ideas overlap with mainstream, mystery, and sci-fi.
Marketing professionals tell writers that branding is important. They advise we chose a genre and then stick with it. If we have an idea for something completely different, we’re told to pass and focus on building a brand.
I wish ignoring my non-romantic suspense ideas was that easy. I’ve recently finished a futuristic manuscript because I had a great idea and my mind refused to travel a straight and narrow road. I’m not sure if going with my passion and writing stories in a genre other than romantic suspense will turn out to be good or bad for my career. But it has led me to writing in multiple genres.
I believe that the most important aspect of writing is that my words come from the heart. I’m betting that passion beats logic. The best stories aren’t always the ones a writer chooses, but rather the ones that reach out and choose the writer.

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