What are IDEAS? And where do they come from?
by Sherry Gloag
Without ideas authors would be stumped. And yet ideas can either swamp, or desert an author in an instant, leaving them ‘up-a-creak-without-a-paddle,’ because they are either chasing their tails trying to keep up with the plots and plans racing through their minds or sitting in front of the blank screen uselessly drumming their fingers on the key board.
If an idea is no more than “something that ‘is’ before the mind when one thinks”, where does it come from?
According to Plato “the concept of ‘idea’ is based in the realms of metaphysics, and implies knowledge is innate, so that learning is the development of ideas buried deep in the soul, often under the guidance of an ‘interrogator’.”
So are we, as authors, delving into the world of metaphysics every time we have an idea? And why, you might ask, do so many people admit their ideas first ‘came’ to them in a dream. Even in sleep, or with certain brain areas anesthetized, other areas in the brain can perceive certain things and cause the body to respond to stimuli.
Scientist will tell you that people consciously use as little as five-to-ten per cent of their brain, so what is going on in the other ninety-five percent?
The most obvious answers are, breathing, balance, use of our eyes in assimilating information, co-ordination of our limbs, and how about that ‘gut’ reaction we all experience to certain incidents and sensations? I mean, how often have you met someone, and for no good reason you can later explain, you either take an instant dislike to them or know on some unexplainable level you could trust them with your life? All this goes on at some subliminal level of consciousness.
But there is a more intriguing aspect to the subliminal mind at work.
People are immersed in subliminal stimuli all day long. You only have to consider the various methods of advertising. Some are in your face while others are so subtle you have no idea you have taken the information in, as it has buried itself deep in your sub- or subliminal consciousness.
The information is out there ready to be stimulated by the same trigger, or something similar. However it is created, these commercial companies spend billions annually wooing us on whatever level they can reach us.
So, in many cases our subliminal consciousness becomes the point from which we see, recognize and address the forces and influences at work around us, thus offering a clearer picture than is provided by our limited (five-per-cent) surface awareness.
The notion that the impulses and ideas we assume originate from within us, actually derive outside, beyond us, before entering our subliminal self, to take shape before rising to the surface as if newly created, is still a difficult concept for many people to accept.
Ask ten different authors where they get their ideas from, and you will probably get ten distinctly differing answers.
So where did the idea for the first, in my four book series The Gasquet Princes, From Now Until Forever, published by Astraea Press, come from?
Indirectly, from the Royal wedding of Prince William to his long time girlfriend Kate Middleton, now Duchess of Cambridge; and I say ‘indirectly’ because it wasn’t until after the wedding I decided to create a short story involving a royal romance.
I am not a ‘plotter’ so even that decision was out of character for me. Did that concept come from my subliminal consciousness? I honestly don’t know.
And what about my characters in From Now Until Forever?
All I can say about them is they certainly did not come from the 5% of conscious use of my mind. The heroine, Melanie Babcot, and her hero, Prince Liam, turned up almost fully formed and knew exactly where and what they were doing from the first word to the last one.
And the characters in my Valentine story, His Chosen Bride, the second book of the series? Well the heroine turned up without fanfare, or even explanation, in a short story written for Tuesday Tales, an online weekly blog where a group of authors offers partial of complete clips of their stories. I did not know even she was going to be the heroine in Henri’s story until the following week when he made his entrance. They certainly emerged from my subliminal consciousness, but don’t ask me what the unconscious triggers were that created them before they made themselves known to me, for I could not tell you.
Multi-published author, Sherry Gloag is a transplanted Scot now living in the beautiful coastal countryside of Norfolk, England. She considers the surrounding countryside as extension of her own garden, to which she escapes when she needs “thinking time” and solitude to work out the plots for her next novel. While out walking she enjoys talking to her characters, as long as there are no other walkers close by.
Apart from writing, Sherry enjoys gardening, walking, reading and cheerfully admits her books tend to take over most of the shelf and floor space in her workroom-cum-office. She also finds crystal craft work therapeutic.
For Prince Liam, families meant bad news, unwanted commitments, and the loss of his personal freedom. Love spawned white picket fences, slippers at the hearth with a wife and kids making demands, so why did those images disappear when he met Melanie Babcot?
Melanie Babcot fought hard to escape the horrors of her youth and vowed to remain single and free, so when paid to protect Prince Liam from insurgents why did her personal pledge fly out the window?
Please enjoy a brief excerpt:
Liam Fitzwilliam Gasquet stared in amazement at the blooming patch of red milliseconds before the pain exploded in his arm. Some trigger-happy idiot had fired in his direction. Indignation didn’t have time to take root before another bullet kicked the dust at his feet.
The rebels had found the fourth and youngest son of Jean-Phillipe Gasquet, ruler of the tiny kingdom adjacent to the Swiss border. When had they discovered his whereabouts?
With a reluctant sigh, he faced the truth of it. They hadn’t ‘found’ him at all. They’d followed him.
I want to thank Ms. Gloag for her visit, and to all of you, I’m encouraging you to give this book a try. I fell in love with this couple on the first page. This one is on my 5-star keeper shelf. ~Kay