In a post on Facebook, Gabaldon posted part of her discussion with another author. She explained that even though she thought about writing a novel, the only thing she had on her mind was a man in a kilt. Gabaldon also emphasizes that her book should not be viewed as if it’s revolving around one single character, be it, Claire or Jamie.
When she first started writing, the Gabaldon’s man in a kilt didn’t have a name. The author was just putting down vague words in her mind and on paper in the first days of writing. As this was to be her first novel, she thought of it as practice and didn’t expect major success.
As an Assistant Professor Gabaldon had access to the university library, which she put to good use. By the third day of writing, she had set a time period in which her story would take place. She did more research and learned about the Jacobite Rising and the Battle of Culloden, which is the main focus of the plot in the first book.
Here the idea of the Scots fighting the British was born. And then she got the idea to add a female character, to add some sexual tension. Later she thought that by making the female character of English decent would stir things up even more and give her an opportunity to write more conflict behind the scenes.
So, the initial idea for the Outlander books began with a nameless man in a kilt and an English woman. Gabaldon admits that the story can be viewed as the story of Jamie and Claire, but the author that there is so much more to it.