I think ideas are the most fun thing about writing – the spark, the moment when something ‘pings’ in your head. Whether it be random ideas that seem to spring out of nowhere or something that finally clicks into place after a long slog.
A lot of articles I have read have stated that you don’t have to be super imaginative or creative, forging something entirely in your subconsciousness, some of the best ideas can come from simple observation and I have found this to be true.
Authors have based characters on people they know, have met or have grown up with. Ideas have been built on situations that have occurred in real life or have sparked from reading or watching a program and thinking “what if this had occurred instead”.
I shared shifts with a lady at a local cafe who would, on her breaks sit at the window table and write stories about the people who passed by. I thought this was immensely cute and such a great idea.
Larissa Ione, a New York Times best selling author of the Demonica series, came up with her idea after watching an episode of Angel.
“Angel, a vampire, was injured and needed medical attention, but where could he go? I started thinking, and that let to Underworld General. Then I had to populate it, and I wanted to do something different than vampires, simply because there were already a lot of vampire romances popping up. So I came up with the demons”.
However an idea emerges you should always note them down!
Anyway which works best for you, it could be artsy – a jar of ideas for the future, or something more (I suppose) mundane or practical such as a notebook or word document. You can then refer to these when in need and you can tease them into life when the time is right.
I have an electronic note pad which is full of random visuals, ideas, words, phrases and taglines including some more in-depth paragraphs, mind-maps and half built worlds. This is what I refer to if I am ever feeling a bit lost or uninspired.
However I think my issue is that I LOVE ideas too much. I tend to bounce from idea to idea and don’t knuckle down and stay with just one. I’m not going to stop writing them down as I think it will see me well in the future, I just have to remember to acknowledge the idea and then come back to the piece of work I am trying to concentrate on.
There are so many articles around writing ideas, from long lists of bullet point after bullet point of items to write about, to Pinterest boards, to interviews with authors on how they came about the ideas for their book. I’m quite sure that anyone with the internet wont be idea short for long.
How do you come about your ideas?