"Good writers borrow from other writers. Great writers steal from them outright."It's very important early in your writing career to leech onto a writing process. Discover what works best for you and stick with it until it no longer makes sense or doesn't work. I was lucky enough to stumble upon a comic that had a very simple Stan Lee script inside. The Marvel Way was what it was called. I stole what Stan carelessly left lying around and I made it the bitch that it is today.
The idea, the scene or the character. (Sometime the title.) Is always where I start. For this we are gonna talk about Coffin Hunters. It's been my main focus lately. (Please check out the Coffin Hunters tumblr page.) Freshly on my mind.
Coffin Hunters came from my love of westerns, reading about grave robbing and Abbott and Costello. When it's an idea I almost always start with; What If...? What if Abbott and Costello were not total nincompoots, but a pair of fairly competent cowboys with a volatile relationship.
I already had a title; Coffin Hunters and the basis of the characters. Abbott and Costello. All I really had to do was just flesh them out.
Enter J.K. Rowlings. Harry Potter was on everyones mind. I messed around with the idea of Bing Blanchard and O'Toole being wizards. Replacing guns with wands and having them flying around the wild west on broom sticks. Fun as that sounds now it really never interested beyond the What if? stage. That is until I read Jim Zub Skullkickers several years later and it all came to me.
The reader is not sure who the main characters of Skullkickers really are, we just know they kickass and they seem out of place in their setting.
That's what I wanted with Coffin Hunters main characters. They need to have that sense of mystery surround them. Who are these guys? I came up with an ever changing logline...
Two east coast cops, that don't like each other much, chase nefarious grave diggers and other oddities across the weird wild west.
and Coffin Hunters idea was unofficially born.
Every writer is a thief. Some of us are more clever than others at disguising our robberies.