Thursday, May 29, 2014


by David Heilwagen

Story ideas, it seems, can pop into your head when you least expect them. Think back for a moment. How many times have you been riding in a crowded subway, or driving along the freeway in the middle of rush hour traffic, when a burst of inspiration picks that exact moment to dance through your brain? It’s more than likely happened to all of us at one time or another.

More than once I have woken-up in the middle of the night from a dream, my subconscious having just mapped-out a plotline for my next great novel. Regrettably, I rolled over and went back to sleep, thinking I would remember it in the morning. That never happened. Although I could recall having the dream, for the life of me I couldn’t recollect the nuts and bolts of what had taken place inside my head. Another great story forever vanished.

Unfortunately, great storylines are oftentimes fleeting, and if you don’t capture them at the exact moment they appear, or soon thereafter, there’s a strong chance they will be forever lost.

As a writer, it’s always a good idea to have a way of recording these thoughts close at hand. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy or high tech. For example, it can be as simple as a yellow legal pad and a pencil next to your bed, or a small recording device stuck in your pocket. With today’s advances in electronic technology, you can easily document ideas, dialogue, scenes, characters, etc, onto an iPhone or any other device, and then store it for later use. I’ve even typed-out the idea into text message and then sent it to my email address. That way I can pull up the email once I’m back in the confines of my writing workspace.

In the days before cell phones and iPads, how many times did you see famed writer, David E. Kelly, walking the red carpet at the Oscars with a pen and yellow legal pad in hand. That’s dedication to your craft, folks. Ernest Hemingway, for example, used tiny notebooks bound with elastic bands called Moleskines. They were small enough that he could keep one in his pocket while out on the ocean in his fishing boat, Pilar. You can still purchase these handy little notebooks at almost any office supply outlet or college bookstore. If modern technology is your thing, there is an app available for your phone called, A Novel Idea.

Whatever method works best for you, make sure you get those ideas down as soon as you can. Who knows, you may just be mapping-out your next bestseller.

Fleeing a violent husband and a dying marriage, Amanda Brougher abandons her life in Nashville. Driving through the night, she eventually lands in Key West, Florida. It’s here Amanda hopes to find the tranquility needed to restart her life managing a small island inn. But Amanda’s plans begin to unravel almost as soon as she arrives. 
Paul Brougher isn’t about to let his wife leave so easily. As soon as he discovers she’s left, Paul embarks on a deluded quest to hunt her down. Plus, the inn’s elderly owner has died unexpectedly, leaving Amanda now without a job or a place to live. Her son, Brock Hamilton, is putting the inn up for sale. A veteran U.S. Coast Guard Officer, Brock is trying to come to terms with his own shattered past. Now, with a major hurricane barreling towards Key West, and a deranged ex-husband quickly closing-in, two lost souls turn to each other for comfort and security. A spark ignites and the flames of romance quickly consume them, setting into motion a chain of events that takes both of them on a life-changing journey of danger, intrigue, and self-discovery.

David Heilwagen survived nearly 30 years as a police officer on the streets of Indianapolis. He retired in 2008 with the rank of Sergeant. Out of his love of reading and writing fiction came his first book, Cone of Uncertainty. David grew up in the Indianapolis suburbs of Lawrence, Indiana; graduating from Lawrence Central High School. He studied at Vincennes University and the Indiana University School of Journalism. He has written and published several travel articles on the Florida Keys, as well as hiking and snowshoeing in Colorado. David lives on the Southside of Indianapolis with his wife, Julie, and daughter, Tara. When Indiana turns cold, David can be found on his sailing vessel, Wind Bandit, cruising somewhere in the Florida Keys. 

You can reach David at:

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