Ideas are a Goldmine

Ideas can be a goldmine for the aspiring author. My first novel was inspired by a word I encountered while perusing the Thesaurus on my word processor. It proved to be a veritable goldmine which triggered a flood of ideas and opened a window onto an imaginary world populated by an assortment of wonderful characters. That experience was like taking a journey into an uncharted world without a map or compass.

It literally came out of the blue and from the moment I started, I was hooked. I never really knew what it was about from one chapter to the next, but I always had a sense of where it was going. Whenever I was ready to continue, the first few words would pop into my head and all I had to do was sit down at the keyboard and just go with the flow.

Your Intuitive Faculties are a Goldmine 

Following your intuition is one way of writing; however, it is not for everybody. Some people just tune in and follow their instincts and allow the ideas to flow, whereas others must have everything planned in detail.

My second novel was inspired by a goldmine of a very different sort. It was a throw-a-way line from my first novel, from a character that only had one line.

‘It’s just like those old legends about the Ocean of Infinite Mystery,’ she said, ‘those creatures which sing from dusk till dawn. It’s almost exactly the same. I wonder if that’s where we are.’

That line, The Ocean of Infinite Mystery, did come from goldmine heaven, but it stayed with me and inspired the title for my second book which is now known as The Citadel of Fire.

Ideas Are Goldmine Heaven

 When I embarked on that story I only had two ideas in my head, but for a novelist to even get a glimpse of an idea is a starting point.

For example, I knew that my two main characters had to go somewhere that no one had ever been before and in my mind, that place was their version of heaven. The only other thing I knew was that when they did eventually get there, they had to meet the spirit of the cosmic being which inhabits their world.

It is possible to construct an entire novel around a few simple points, but like any story, it has to have a critical edge and a good plot. If a reader has never read the first book in a series it is essential for the author to add a sprinkling or two of back story where necessary.

You don’t have to reveal everything at once as some stories tend to jump from one situation to another and authors often leave it up to the reader to fill in the blanks.

Tangents are the Best Goldmine of All

 One of the most interesting aspects of engaging in the creative process is tangents; pathways in the story that appear as you write.

Ideas pop up as the story develops and if you know anything about tangents, one thing leads to another. They have a habit of taking over almost immediately, but my advice is to follow them, don’t ignore them…they can add depth, interest and who knows what else to a story.

Our minds work in interesting ways and they are constantly going off on in search mode, making connections and playing around with numerous other ideas.

It helps if you are attuned to the thoughts and ideas which pass through your head on a regular basis. They may seem random or casual but they really are a goldmine of unexplored opportunities.

The Goldmine of the Unexpected

 Oddly enough, my third book came to me as I was weeding the garden. An idea popped into my head within seconds and for the first time ever I even planned it out chapter by chapter , but I ended up writing something totally different.

Addric, one of my two main characters had said repeatedly in the second novel that he would love to visit Planet Earth and in the third story in this series, The Sanctuary of Fire, he gets that opportunity.

As is the way of a story, that wonderful element called the unexpected kicked in from the first chapter. While it did not go according to my original plan…it was a goldmine nevertheless, an imaginative adventure and a heartfelt love story as well.

I had not expected that to happen…but it was all because of a tangent. Sometimes they are a product of the dialogue and sometimes they are just the obvious path to follow, but they can open up possibilities.

Those elements surprisingly, are now the central feature of the new series of stories that I am writing.

People Can Definitely be a Goldmine

A few years ago I was wandering through a secondhand bookshop and I stumbled onto Stephen King’s book on writing.

To be honest, it literally threw itself at me…just jumped off the shelf and landed at my feet, but it is worth reading if you ever chance upon it.

As you probably know, he writes supernatural thrillers, but he did say one thing I have never forgotten.

His novels are an amalgamation of his real life and his inner life, reinterpreted of course in a fictional way.

Every author writes about themselves and my stories are no exception. They are just another way of saying what you cannot say in normal conversation.

The Goldmine of the Imagination

If you are an aspiring author and you are waiting for that next great idea to come along…don’t despair; it will appear in one way or another.

More than likely, it will creep up unannounced, when you are least expecting it to, a word whispered in your ear, something you’ve seen in passing…but the real magic after that is to start the process and go with the flow.

Ideas are buried treasure, they are the goldmine of the imagination, hovering close by and waiting for you to connect the dots. As soon as those first few words pop into your head…just sit down and start typing. You might be surprised at what happens next…

To find out more about my books, check out the post entitled…Interview with the Author…

The painting featured on this page is called Star Link and can be found at

Star Link

Star Link


The use of the word goldmine was an experiment to improve traffic flow to my site. Apparently…this page ranks fairly high on Google…according to one visitor.


About vgilvarry

Creativity is the key that unlocks the doors of the imagination...

2 Responses to “Ideas are a Goldmine”

  1. Hi, I think the same way you do. I’ve had a book inspired by a love letter I wrote to a girl when I was a kid! By a sock I was looking at in such a way it looked like an evil person! Anything that gets the wheels turning and makes the writing easy has to seized! Thank you for the follow! I love this blog! Keep writing!

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