by Lexi Lawton
Before I became a writer, I was an avid reader. In school, I would get a book from the library, start reading it on the bus ride home, and have it almost finished by the time I got there. And every single time, I would close the book and wonder, “How on earth did the author come up with that idea?” I’m fascinated by where an idea comes from and how it develops. It’s always one of the first things I ask a fellow writer or look for in an interview. So, today, I’m going to share how I came up with the idea for Trusting Tanner.
It all started with a flash of a scene and a snippet of dialogue. I was lying in bed, hitting snooze on my alarm for the bazillionth time, avoiding getting out of bed, when I had this vivid image of a girl kissing a boy and the boy not kissing her back. But he wanted to…
Immediately, the questions started rolling. Who are these people? Why is this kiss such a big deal? Why didn’t he kiss her back? Why can’t they be together? What’s going to happen next? I got up and wrote that scene, starting at the exact moment when she planted her lips on his. I didn’t have names for them. I didn’t know where they were. But I knew the emotions behind their actions—the longing, the desire, the heartbreak, the embarrassment. Obviously, as I got deeper into the story and learned more about these characters, I fleshed out the scene. Here it is in its original form:
Without another thought, Juliana grabbed Tanner’s face and pressed her lips to his. She didn’t know what kind of reaction to expect, but she really didn’t expect him to look at her with a horrified expression. Nor did she expect him to drop her. But that’s exactly what he did. She scurried to her feet, eyes wide, ashamed.