No products in the cart.



Where do stories come from?

That, it seems to me, is the question behind the oldest question in the history of fiction: where do you get your ideas?

The emphatic eye-roll the latter question generally receives from authors is because it’s impossible to answer. You might as well ask why the wind blows. (If you’re really interested in a lecture on either barometric pressure or neuron/synapse function, Wikipedia awaits.)

No, the real question is the first one above, and the answer is, stories come from everywhere.

Consider this: I’ve never done press work for a political candidate, or met a rock singer in need of a political advisor. I’ve never quit a job while on an airplane or made friends with a megastar while drunk (hell, a big week for me is two beers – on different days). And I’ve certainly never stood on a stage built in the outfield of the greatest baseball stadium ever constructed and been overwhelmed by the enormity of the scene before me.

Tim Green does all of the above in the first 55 pages of Believe in Me.

I can tell you this about writing Believe in Me: I wrote a story that appealed to me as a reader. I wrote about things that interest and entertain me: music, loss, idealism, family, hero worship, crushes, mistaken identities, curiosity, wry asides and larger-than-life characters. Along the way, bits and pieces of my own experience and observations inevitably made their way onto the page, but the story is not autobiographical; it is fiction through and through.

But where do stories come from?

In the middle of chapter five, rock star Jordan Lee catches Tim off-guard by playfully accusing him of being a writer, a label which he has already denied once. Introducing Tim to his manager, Jordan says “…he’s been hanging out with me all day, hasn’t said ten words I haven’t dragged out of him with pliers, but he soaks up every single thing that happens like he’s saving it all up for later.”

What writers ultimately soak up, and save up, is a matter of both study and experience, but mostly it’s about passion. There’s no point in writing about something that bores you, and if you do, the experience is likely to be painful for both you and your reader. Writers absorb information and experiences that strike them as important or memorable in some way, and then the internal combustion engine that is the human brain turns them into fuel. All that’s left at that point is for the writer to get in the car and drive.

Climb in, won’t you?

Believe in Me is on sale now via Amazon (Kindle), iTunes (iPad/iPhone) and Barnes & Noble (Nook).

Comments (2)

  • Richard

    Do you consider your reader, while you're writing? Or is the audience a factor in the editing process? Or do you write solely for you?

    • Jason Warburg

      Richard, I should warn you that when presented with an either-or question, I often answer "yes." That's the case here as well. I do think of the audience, yes, but mostly in terms of what I would enjoy as a member of that audience. I try to write what I enjoy both as a writer and as a reader.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Sign up to get all our latest updates & book release news.