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Where Do Your Ideas Come From?

I got the idea for my current WIP by watching the series Dexter- it’s great by the way- if you’ve never seen it, put it on your list! Michael C. Hall is brilliant.
Funny thing is- it only jolted something in me-my WIP doesn’t actually have anything to do with the story or character. But- It got me writing, and that was a wonderful thing.

I form ideas from lots of places; conversations I hear, movies I’ve seen, anything really. Sometimes they just pop in my mind as an amalgam of different experiences I’ve had.

I even pick up ideas from other books- not that I use them specifically- but it may spark something I didn’t think of.

So. I’m curious… where do you get your ideas?

22 Responses to β€œWhere Do Your Ideas Come From?”

  1. My current wip is based on a news article I saw online. I took the premise — a man wakes up to find a masked man attacking his daughter and accidentally kills him — and added a What If?

    What if the masked man was their neighbor and close friend? Now I have a whole book about how the two families cope with this.

  2. (btw, I’m so glad you changed the way your comments work. It was a HUGE pita before)

  3. I love Dexter. Just knowing you got the idea for your book from that show, makes me want to read it. My ideas usually come from real life experiences that I twist and exaggerate into something more exciting.

  4. Jamie D. says:

    Sometimes people I see, sometimes daydreams (like the one I got leaving the house after lunch to come back to work today). I have a couple that even came from dreams, though that happens very rarely.

    It seems like anything can set off a story idea…

  5. Natalie says:

    I think I’m like you. They come from everyday interactions with people, media, nature, that kind of thing. I got a new idea while walking in the park last week that I’m really excited about.

  6. Erica says:

    Mel- That’s a great idea- news articles. I’ve never thought of that. I’ll have to skim the newspaper πŸ™‚ BTW- I didn’t like the way the comments were either- thought I would change it- glad it works πŸ™‚

  7. Erica says:

    Susan- That’s awesome that you love that show too. It’s really one of my favorites- along with Six Feet Under (which he was also in) he can pick ’em can’t he?

    You know- it’s crazy- I loved the idea of someone essential good doing such bad things. That’s where the idea came from. It’s interesting that yours comes from real experiences. I like that.

  8. Erica says:

    Jamie- You’re just an idea maker aren’t you! I think that’s great. I try to remember my dreams… but most are strange and more like a Dahli painting than anything else πŸ˜‰

    True. Anything can set a story off!

  9. Erica says:

    Natalie- That’s great that you can get ideas from anything. For me, it could just be a feeling from a song, something totally random.

    Like, for my NaNo plot. I thought… what would be the worst thing that could happen to me. And *poof* a plot is born.

    Sounds like you have a good idea brewing!

  10. Tara says:

    My current WIP came from a what if question.

  11. Iapetus999 says:

    For my latest WIP I was writing an example for a blog post and the example just grew and grew into an entire story with 3 acts, conflict, and resolution. So I’ve decided to go with it.
    I’ve had other ideas come from dreams, from science books and articles, from simple concepts and thoughts.

  12. I love this question! I get ideas from all over the place. It’s sometimes weird how it happens. A little while ago, the knife sharpening truck came by (we still have those around here – they sound like ice cream trucks, only over their loudspeaker they shout “get your knives and lawnmower blades sharpened” or some such thing). I was sleeping in, and the sound of its bells and the loudspeaker floated in through the window and suddenly I had an idea for a YA novel revolving around a couple of aliens. I also tend to get my ideas in scenes, and this one came to me in a scene with – you guessed it – a knife sharpening truck.

    Ideas are such fun things. Getting them written down, though, is a lot harder!

  13. Erica says:

    Tara- What if? questions are the best πŸ™‚

    Andrew-That’s so cool- you got a story idea from a blog post! I’m a huge fan of science myself. I watch the sci fi channel all the time. I’m obsessed with space and the end of the world.

    My co-workers call me Debbie Downer, cause I talk about the end of the world- really- I do it to mess with them. I’m not sure when it will happen!

  14. Erica says:

    Hi Ms. Bookish- and welcome πŸ™‚

    Wow- that is a heck of an idea. I’ve never heard of a knife sharpening truck, but I can see a lot of great ideas coming out of that. How creative! I’m curious to know what your story is about from that…

    You’re right, the hard part is getting them down on paper πŸ˜‰

  15. Iapetus999 says:

    Then you probably shouldn’t read my end-of-the-world disaster novel (which is on hold right now).

  16. Erica says:

    Andrew, you tease. I would totally want to read that!


  17. Iapetus999 says:

    Shoot me an email and I’ll see what I can do.

  18. Erica says:

    Oh cool! Email is sent- Thanks πŸ™‚

  19. From everything! Music really gets my brain going. I usually have so many ideas, I have to really focus on just one. My current WIP came from an experience one of my mom’s friends had as a child. Something I never knew about her until earlier this year.

  20. Erica says:

    Hi Jennifer and welcome πŸ™‚
    Music is a huge idea maker for me too. I can’t write without it, well I can, but I don’t like to. It’s interesting to see where everyone’s ideas come from πŸ™‚

  21. Erica, my aunt Karen — whose first book came out last October — got her idea from a tiny article in the newspaper. She’s since sold a sequel on spec!

  22. Erica says:

    Mel-So you both got the ideas through news articles. That’s so cool, and a great idea, that I didn’t even think of. Real life is a bit scary isn’t it? I’m sure you could get a lot of stories out of where you live!

    That’s great that she’s getting the sequel too! Woo Hoo πŸ™‚

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