This is my current project that's in the works now, and I'm finding it a bit weighty. The story is in first person, so that in itself will require it to feel extemely personal and get into personal details of the character's thoughts and emotions.
The title, essentially describes the idea behind the storyline, and is a bit of a play on words and can have several different meanings which relate to the story. The main character's name is Karmen, which can be thought of as an elongated version of karma, in a way. But the title could be about Karmen's own temptations, or it could mean that her actions and the actions of the other characters in the story can lead to them tempting karma to come back and bite them.
Anyway, hoping it doesn't go too far left. Either way, I have to learn how to write the story as it comes, however it comes. Still working on it, and hope the readers enjoy this one.
Like many other writers, I also enjoy reading books myself. Growing up, I read all of the time, and there were many days that you could find my nose in a book. And one thing that I noticed was the fact that many authors somtimes revisit an idea in many of their stories over and over again. They may change it up a bit from story to story, but many times there are certain elements that they cover from book to book.
Now, that I am writing more, and producing work of my own, I can see the reason this may be the case for some writers. Often times, we tend to write what we have experienced in life or are familiar with. Why? Because it's our comfort zone, and we feel we have plenty to say in that area.
Also, a writer--though he or she may not be experienced in a subject matter-- may be completely fascinated by it, and feel compelled to write about it constantly until their interest in the subject has fizzled out.
Another motivation for revisiting story ideas, is as a kind of unconscious form of therapy. Many writers don't realize they have repetitive themes and ideas in each story, and it is like their own personal form of therapy that's used in order to flesh out, and in a way heal from, personal past hurts, pain, tragedy or joys.
And I'm aware of at least a couple of the ideas and themes that I tend to touch on often in my own stories. The first is marital conflict--more specifically affairs--and the second is pregnancy.
The marital conflict theme is a fascination and of course, as many married couples do, I've gone through my own share of such conflict. This is just the reality of most marriages, and healthy couples learn how to get through it. And though I haven't experienced infidelity, (at least not in marriage, but my dating life was a different story), nor do I ever want to, I know many in my life who have, and I don't know why, but this is a topic of fascination for me. I have seen the devastating effects it can have on a marriage or relationship and this topic gets my imagination swirling with all of the implications, details and nuances that accompany such an act or situation.
The other obsessive fascination I seem to have is with pregnancy and babies. And there is no mystery about where this one came from. One pivotal part of my own personal life involved a miscarriage that I went through with my second pregnancy. I've always loooved babies, and children and the idea of a family, so of course when that happened it was particularly devastating.
I felt the pain, deeply, but found that I couldn't allow myself to wallow in it for long. It was like a turning point. I thought about how quickly that baby I'd planned for was gone, and it made me think about my own mortality. I was there, still not doing what I loved to do, and had known I'd loved to do it since I was a child. And that was writing. There I was, wasting time. Another day, month, year, had gone by, and I hadn't picked up a pen, paper or laptop once to write. I sat there, and realized that if nothing else, losing that baby would not be in vain. I owed it to myself to do what I was put here to do--and that was write.
One day, as I was quietly thinking about what that baby would have been, I dubbed him/her, my "Muse". It was because of my Muse, that I was going to write again. And not just dabble here and there. It was time to really write, and take it seriously. The next year, I completed my first novel ever and had even written a film script. In a way, every work that I produce now, is like another baby of mine, and I have more babies now than I could have ever imagined before.
So, if you find me touching on similar themes in many of my stories, please bear with me, and just know that they all have a purpose and a reason. And yeah, there is a little bit of me in alot of my stories. But I hope they can still entertain, excite and inspire you ,nonetheless.
As a writer, inspiration for my stories can come from almost anywhere. Everyday experiences, dreams, friends, family, acquaintances, brief encounters with strangers, news stories; and even music and movies. Usually something sparks my interest and from there my imagination will take a simple concept or idea and run with it.
The idea for the short fiction title, "A Broken Promise" came as I was listening to music--which is also another one of my favorite pasttimes. I appreciate and enjoy listening to several music genres, and on this particular day I was listening to a song I'd heard several times before by Ne-Yo. It was a song entitled, "Lie to Me", in which a man would rather remain oblivious to the obvious--his woman was cheating on him. Of course, "A Broken Promise" takes another turn, but that song served as a good starting point. The lyrics of that song always conjured up movie-like images in my mind--an element that's essential for creating a compelling story.
And, of course, if I was going to detail Kyle's story before "Love's Call", I had to do the same for Liana. The first thing I thought when coming up with that story was that, no matter what happened, the weather needed to match the mood of the story. Therefore, it had to be dark, gloomy, and raining. So, I began a search for stock images and came upon the one used for "A Perfect Day for Rain". The dark clouds worked, but the bright pink, polka-dotted, almost childish umbrella didn't quite seem like something a sophisticated woman would make a habit of carrying around. So then the wheels started turning, and I came up with the sentimental reason why she did carry around this umbrella and searched for a way to make it connect with the entire story.
"Love's Call", the romance title which brings the characters, Kyle and Liana, from the above stories together, came from the idea of a love that begins on a cruise vacation trip. When a colleague of mine mentioned a cruise trip she'd taken, the imaginative and creative juices began to flow. The first thing that came to my mind was, "A cruise has the potential to be one of the most intimate places you could meet someone." And that's primarily due to the fact that you are in such close, confined quarters. There's no getting away on a cruise ship, at least not for the duration of your trip. Now, granted, many times the ships can be so big, with so many passengers, that you may never see the same person twice, sometimes. Thus, the reason for forcing the characters to have to interact daily. A cruise felt like the perfect setting for a romance. Not only is it forced close quarters, but also there's the fact that life on a vacation and on a cruise has to be in stark contrast to life in the real world. Everything has to seem like a fairy tale, dream world in that setting. And a person could forget all of his/her hangups, at least temporarily, while they enjoyed the escape from reality. So the question was--What happens when they have to return to their old lives?
Alot of times, when I write, I like to find the irony in life and in circumstances. This was the main inspiration for the story, The Surprise. I usually try to think of ways that life's moments can be turned on their heads and flipped around in the blink of an eye--similar to the way that real life can be for us, sometimes. But of course, I also think that for all of the rough times in life--no matter how dark they can get-- there really is good just waiting around the corner, if we're willing to stick it out long enough to get to it. Thus, the reason why I knew I couldn't end Naomi's story that way. I planned to write a follow-up story for Naomi, in the upcoming title, "A Love That's True".
Hope this helps to provide the reader just a tiny glimpse into my creative process. :-) .
Jala Summers is the author of books spanning several fiction genres, ranging from General Contemporary Fiction, Romance, Womens Fiction, and Urban Fiction. Her primary desire is to create intriguing and satisfying fiction, featuring complex characters with even more complex stories.