Story Ideas

Amish fiction, Author life, Christian fiction, inspiration, Writing research Comments: 2

VC’s not-so-messy desk

We’ve been following a “get to know one another” theme here on the blog. So far we’ve covered–

Today I wanted to answer a question I get a lot–Where do you get your ideas? That’s a great question, though of course it’s not an easy answer. Story ideas come from many different places. Personally, I’ll have something in my mind, think about it, chew on it for a few weeks or months while I’m writing something else.  Then, if I’m lucky, those ideas bake together into a satisfying story. A few places I find ideas are:

  1. Visiting the area I’m writing about
  2. Reading the Budget
  3. Listening to other people talk about family and friends
  4. News stories
  5. My own friends and family

VC’s research shelf

One thing I learned early on is that an idea doesn’t make a story all by itself. You need several ideas and at least 2 characters who seem real. Once you have all of that, you’re ready to start!

As far as research, I have a lot of reference books to help me, and I have trip notes. I also have email addresses for a few Mennonite friends who are willing to answer questions, and other authors of Amish fiction are also more than happy to help if you have a question.

It’s been a lot of fun crafting stories for the last 10 years, and I hope to continue doing so for the next 10 (God willing and the creek don’t rise, as my grandpa used to say).

What about you? Do you have a good story idea? I’m all ears. And if you have any other questions, feel free to ask them in the comment section.



Announcements for this week

  • Amish Christmas Matchmaker debuted at #4 on the Neilsen Book Scan list and #12 on Publishers Weekly Mass Market list. A big thank you to everyone who has purchased a copy. You should be able to find the book in local Walmart stores for another two weeks–if they’re not sold out. And it’s always available through on-line stores.
  • I have new items in my VC Boutique Store, including fall hats, book bags, and a new afghan. Check it out here.
  • I’m putting the final touches on my new Amish cozy mystery, Dead Wrong which will release on November 5th, and yes–it will be available at all retailers in both print and ebook.

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2 thoughts on “Story Ideas

  1. Marilyn R

    I’ve enjoyed all your books that I’ve read. I’m looking forward to reading Dead Wrong when it is released. : )
    Will you have a spinoff of The Amish Christmas Matchmaker hero and heroine in a new Amish series set in Texas?

    1. vannettachapman Post author

      Thank you, Marilyn. And I love your idea about a Texas spin-off. I’ll see what my editor thinks about the idea.