Sunday, May 23, 2010

Finding Ideas

Every story begins with an idea.

Without ideas, there is nothing to create. So you may ask, where do you get ideas?

Ideas can be found everywhere. In the newspaper, magazine articles, in a picture (they are worth a thousand words right?), in your dreams, in a comment. The sources for ideas are endless.

Where do you get your ideas? It is a question that a writer encounters often. Curious minds want to know. I will share with you my most common practices for finding ideas.

Quick writes: Open a dictionary and randomly select three words. Begin writing focusing on these words.

Random sentence prompts: Open a book and let your finger fall upon a sentence. Start with this sentence and begin writing.

Daydreaming: Let your mind open up to possibilities. My latest short story idea was produced this way. I closed my eyes and saw a woman running, next thing I know she comes upon a body and sees the killer in the edge of the woods.

What if? Use newspapers or top news stories for this process. For example: two found dead in a half-burnt house. What if, neither of these people lived in this house?What if, the owner was gone on vacation? What if, one of the victims was someone who has been missing for ten years? You see how this goes. An idea is produced and all is needed is to dig the story from the remains.

So, I ask you, where do your ideas come from?


Lynn Andrade said...

Dreams and daydreams, of course. Lately, though, I've been having fun with taking dialog out of context and seeing what that sparks.

Aubrie said...

Those are great places for ideas! My ideas come from daydreaming while driving, artwork, and music.

Anonymous said...

Lynn, that does sound fun.

Aubrie, daydreaming is always a good place to find ideas. When your mind is free and roaming.

Kimberly Franklin said...

My best ideas usually just pop into my head, and it's usually at the most inconvenient time. Great post!

Anonymous said...

Kimberly, :) totally get this. I end up with scraps of paper in my purse by the end of the week. The notes are so short for lack of space, I don't have a clue what they were about. I really have to get me some small notepads.

Lynn Andrade said...

Lol. I finally had to invest in a hardcover notebook for my purse. I'd think "Oh, I'll remember this idea the next time I'm around paper." But I'd always end up forgetting. :(

Anonymous said...

Lynn, that's a good idea. I always go through the stationary isle when I'm in Walmart. I already have paper supplies (probably enough to last a year), but something pulls me there. Perhaps, this is what I'm supposed to buy. Thanks.

Lynn Andrade said...

I do the same thing. Paper and pen purchases always make me feel better. :)

I'm glad the notebook idea may help.

Anonymous said...

- dreams
- conversations
- my son and his friends
- daily life
- observing people
- my husband
- TV
- my treasure box
- dictionary
- magazines

Anonymous said...

Lynn, I think we all have this fetish, lol

Susanne, great idea sources.

MysteryKnitter said...

TV helps me too, not to forget the paper.

Cher Green said...

:) I have this crazy habit of coming up with an idea and then a few days later seeing something done very similar on the television. I keep going because it has all been done before, so I take it as a sign of heading in the right direction.

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