People often ask where I get my ideas.
I can’t say that there is one well from which I draw when it comes to ideas. There are many places inspiration can come from; most of them have some relationship with one another but none is exclusive. Here are a few of my best sources.
Read. The more you read, the more you learn, and the more you come up with questions that send you onto something else to read.
Research. The more I read, and research, the more I learn. The more I learn, the more I want to know. So many times in my research I find a nugget of truth to build a story upon. I love to read old newspaper articles. Not only do they provide ideas, but also a wealth of information about an era or place.
Play the ‘What If’ game. This was a game someone told me about years ago when I was beginning to write. You begin with an idea. I will use one that I recently read about. A family has been living in an older house, built somewhere around 1900. One day one person got curious about the grate in the hall by the entrance. It looked like it would be a vent to the HVAC, however they did not have central air. Removing the grate revealed a deep, dark place below the floor. One of the family members went down there and discovered an abandoned sanctuary with a large cross on the floor.
Now ~ here is where the ‘What If’ game gets fun. What if there was a hidden treasure down there? What if there was a catacomb of bones down there, or tunnels that lead to more secret chambers? What if they entered an alternate reality, universe or era? What if they discovered a body?
The ‘What If’ game takes your imagination for a long journey that is rarely dull. It also can provide for a number of good story lines.
Dream. Sometimes when I am working through a story I will set it into my mind to look for a solution as I sleep and dream. Often dreams will provide answers. More often a good nights rest will allow the ideas to come through as if they had been there all along. Rarely do nightmares provide a story line, but it has happened.
Have No Fear of looking like a geek. Arm yourself with paper, and a writing implement that works, so you can scribble down the stray thought that had been elusive and comes when you are thinking or doing something other than writing. Sometimes a conversation will bring that key phrase or idea sought after for a character, situation or event. Scribble down the idea, but be sure you can read your writing later on!
There are many more I could list, but these are some of the best ones. Feel free to employ any of these ideas and methods. Happy Writing!
Author of Clara’s Wish and soon to be released ~ Lethal Boundaries.