Saturday, September 6, 2008

Where Story Ideas Come From

Welcome to QueenWriter News. This blog is new. First, let me introduce myself. My name is Starr Reina. I have two published mystery novels and am a writer of short stories. You may view my website at If you would like to read some of my stories, please go to: The editor of Suspense Magazine is sponsoring me on his website and he will be changing the stories from time to time, so keep checking back.

With this blog, I hope to share some tips with you that I've learned along the way. I will also be giving "lessons" that, in my optimism, can assist other writers; at least, to some degree.

Before beginning my first lesson, I would like to know what you do. What are your goals? What would you like to see in this blog?

Now, on to my first lesson:

"Where Story Ideas Come From"

•Dreams: waking and sleeping
•Lives: yours and others
•Every day dramas
•Conversations with others
•Newspaper reports
•Television news
•Your imagination
•Everywhere and with everyone - Just look around you!

If anyone has anything to add to this list, I would love to hear it. I look forward to our continued correspondence. Feedback is always appreciated.

Starr Reina


Anonymous said...


Congratulations on blogging! I too just started my own blog on my website.
I also find inspiration from movies and other books. Particularly for my poetry--my first love--I will hear just a word or phrase and run with it. No matter where you go or what you do, ideas are only limited to one's own thinking.
I want to wish you success and joy in your writing and in all future endeavors.

Terri Ann Armstrong, Author/Editor

Starr Reina said...

Thanks, Terri. Wonderful suggestions for story ideas. Let's hear some more from others out there!

Starr Reina

Patricia said...

Hi Starr,

Congrats on your blog. I hope you enjoy blogging as much as I have these past few years. Also contratulations on your recent successes. You're on your way, kid.

Patricia Fry
visit my informative blog at:

DJ said...

Hello, Starr

DJ here from St. J. Welcome to cyberspace! I too have a blogsite as a requirement for a library science class I'm taking.

I get some of my inspiration from music, but usually I will get a scene - a single scene - stuck in my head, and then I wonder what could have lead up to it - and how will a character get out of it.

"What if," is always a great starter question.

Anyway, thought I'd throw a totally different topic out there - research. I'm amazed at what I've been learning in my library science classes with regard to learning how to conduct research. I highly recommend taking one of these classes if anyone doesn't know how to do it.

Take care! You can always follow up on my progress at

Starr Reina said...


Thank you for your encouragement. I think I'll like blogging very much. Please spread my blogging site. I would love to have people's feedback and comments.


You're from St. J? Great little town, isn't it? Do I know your parents?

Sounds like you're well on your way. "What if" is a great question to start with. So are: "who," "where" and "why." The basics of journalism.

That scene where you ask yourself "what could have led up to it," is great. Now ask, "why" would that character be in that scene for starters. Build from there.

Research, yes, is a great tool. The internet is one place, but we shouldn't forget the basics: asking questions, looking the library, etc.

Congrats to you and keep me posted on how you're doing.

Starr Reina

David said...

If you keep these lessons this short it'll be great, Starr. I've been on far too many blogs where people want to talk your ear off. (I've also been guilty of that).

I get my ideas from everywhere. As you know, being a Christian I look at things a little differently than some. I just finished a young adult Bible study built around the characters in The Lord of the Rings, by J.R.R. Tolkien. It's amazing what you can find if you just look. A single sentence, the shape of a cloud, anything, can be the beginning of a story idea.

One thing...create and "idea" folder on your hard drive (or flash drive) and store some of your ideas there. Then you can flesh them out as they become more fully developed in your own mind without losing the other ideas in the process. (Told you I can be longwinded).

Starr Reina said...


Thanks for stopping by. Yes, I plan to keep them short. I do want interaction from readers, though. Please pass this blog on to others.

Great ideas and I'm glad to see people are contributing. I agree with you--anything can be the beginning of a story idea.As I said in my first lesson, ideas are all around us.

Take care and keep coming back. My second lesson should be posted tomorrow or soon thereafter.

DJ said...

Hi, Starr

Yes, you do know my mom. Everyone knows my mom, but I won't mention her name here.

I graduated a year ahead of you, and have been writing for that long. Have kept my focus on screenwriting, though.

Have been fortunate enough to place well in a few screenwriting competitions, but I don't get out there and sell myself much. That's something I'm still not comfortable with.

Word Actress said...

Like you, Starr, I see story ideas EVERYWHERE. When I first started writing well over a decade ago, I took a course with the phenomenal writer Kate Braverman. She gave me a great gift and it was this, keep a fragment file where you can put all of the ideas that you think might one day make it into a poem, story or novel. I left the seminar, set up my own fragment file and it is now my favorite place to begin my writing day. It inspires me, enlivens me and encourages me to go out and live an interesting life so I can add new posts to the file. Google headlines is another place to get ideas. I teach College-Essay Writing seminars and I always tell my students to read headlines in the best newspapers - the L.A. 'Times' and the N.Y. 'Times', in great magazines like Vogue, Vanity Fair, Self, Time, Harper's Bazaar - the list in endless. I love the European mags as well. I go to Borders at least once a week and scan the titles. I leave there pumped and happy to go home and resume writing. Anyway, hope I didn't go on too long. If you ever need a Guest Blogget I'm your girl. I try to Guest Blog at least once a week. Congrats on your blog and happy writing! Mary Kennedy Eastham, Author, 'The Shadow of a Dog I Can't Forget' and my exciting first novel, 'Night Surfing - A Story of Love and Wonder in the Waves of Malibu'

Starr Reina said...


Okay, I'm blond. I just put it together. I'm sorry, I didn't recognize the initials. Glad you're hear. Keep checking back for more lessons!


Starr Reina said...

Word Actress,

Thank you for your contribution of ideas. This is exactly what I'm hoping for with this blog site. I want to give ideas, talk about them and share them.

I will be having guest bloggers on later. Would you privately email me your details?

Thank you.

Starr Reina

Daniel said...

You did it Starr!!!!!!
Way to go,come on get the 3rd one out already!
Your killing me!!!!!!
Guys if you have not read her first two books you are missing out,she is so much like Dean Koontz.

Starr Reina said...


You are too kind; thank you for your praise.

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