Monday, February 28, 2011
Where do you get your ideas?
A question most writers are faced with at some point in their career is, “Where do you get your ideas?”
Some of the answers for this question have been: “From life.”, “From a dream.”, “From my idea box.”, “Out of my head,” the answers keep on going.
I’m not sure why this question is asked so often, but it is. There are even books out there full of writing prompts. Most writing how-to books include a section on coming up with ideas. Try a Google search and you shall discover multiple links to sites telling how to find ideas.
I’m not saying it’s always easy to come up with an idea, but the most honest answer I can think of for this question is, “From my imagination.” It starts as a seed, and it grows into a massive oak or in some cases, it withers and dies.
The seed is the starting point. My seeds come from life, dreams, prompts, images, and daydreams. I’m sure there are more sources, but there’s a few. After the seed is planted, the rest is done with sprinkles of imagination.
For instance, my short story, “Friends Forever,” began with a seed. That seed came from the movie, “The Ring.” The seed was the ‘Well’. In fact, the story began as “The Forbidden Well”, but quickly became something more with a few dashes of imagination. The seed was allowed to germinate over a few days' time. When I sat down to write, I really had no conscious idea of what the story was going to be about. As I began, an image of a little girl flying a kite flashed before me and that’s where I began the story. Everything else just grew from “a well” and “a little girl with a kite.”
So, where do you get your ideas?