Sunday, February 20, 2011

The Creative Process

By Laura P. Valtorta

As I begin writing a sequel to Carmen’s Universe – my novel about the future – I contemplate the pathway from idea to finished product. How does it happen for me? Some people read the newspaper for inspiration. I look inward and outward, at my neighbors, and in my shoe closet.

Step One – the Conflict. I have a complaint about my body, and it’s driving me crazy. My feet are too big. (Substitute butt, stomach, nose, ears, teeth, or whatever might bother a woman or man trapped inside the Merry Homemaker/Gold’s culture of the United States). Paranoia sets in. The shoe salesmen are laughing at me. The Gold’s Tiffanies are talking about me.

Some men might fret about a body part being too small. Women have the opposite problem.

Step Two—Solution. I create a fierce female character with large feet. She is 6 feet tall, Chinese and African, and she plays a musical instrument. The world is against her because of her feet, or so she believes. She gets fired from her job. Is it because of her feet or her attitude? She moves away from the city and forms her own orchestra. She falls in love with a suave attorney. She learns something about herself.

A novel is born.

Published books by Laura P. Valtorta:
Family Meal, published in 1993, Carolina Wren Press
Start Your Own Law Practice, published in 2006, Entrepreneur Press
Social Security Disability Practice, published in 2009, updated yearly, Knowles Publishing
Cavi -- a Novel about Italy, available as a PDF download at www.infinite-


Michelle said...

Was that just an example or is that the plot to the sequel? Either way, sounds like a good story.

Alex said...


Thanks for your thoughts on the origin of ideas for stories. I look forward to your sequel.