Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Where do ideas come from?

This is one of the questions I get a lot - from readers, my coworkers, even my mom - and it's one of my favorite questions to answer. The answer: I get my ideas from really weird places. Take the proposal I'm working on now...I was driving one day, and heard a crazy cool story on NPR's Science Friday that got me thinking about things and BAM! that night I had a concept in mind. Of course, it's morphed a lot since then and is not even polished yet, but NPR was my muse.

Other places where I get stories:

1) Eavesdropping (a lot...especially listening to people gossip in dressing rooms or bar restrooms or other creepy/lurky places like that where I shouldn't admit to snooping on people).

2) The library - browsing around among the books and, yes, okay, snooping on people. As you may imagine, I've read Harriet the Spy many times.

3) Other peoples' book covers that make me think about something totally different than the book they're covering.

4) Ideas that I've stolen from my husband - I'm not ashamed to admit it.

5) Memories and imagined memories of old (especially rotten) boyfriends and crushes.

Idea-gathering is my favorite part of being a writer. Since I started writing books, I've noticed that I'm always sponging up everything around me, stealing little snippets and dialogue and character traits from everyone around me. (So LOOK OUT people who hang out with me!)

What inspires you?


Jennifer Echols said...

Idea-gathering is actually my least favorite part of the process, because other people don't seem to be interested in the same things that interest me. I think I may watch too much MythBusters.

Serina said...

Not to sound suck-up-ish, but I definitely find myself getting new ideas for stories when reading books from the series. They're definitely constant sources of inspiration. Most of the stories I've written come from my own experiences, since growing up, I used writing as an outlet. Though I'm finding that the older I get, and the fresher the experiences are, the harder it is to write a story out of it. So maybe I need to start looking for other sources, like some of the ones you mentioned. :)


Ideas typically (but not always) come from my own quirky personal experiences. Then I embellish them to death.

True Romantic Gifts said...

Idea gathering is so effective to see the character, back ground, and also a good clue some body that interest with you.