Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Where Do You Get Your Ideas?

Tonight, I was checking out my new WIP and got to wondering, how do you guys come up with the ideas for your writing, be it novel-length or otherwise?

Mine, of course, come from Cthulu sending nightmare images straight into my mind while I sleep. (Just kidding. Thank God...)

However, I do get a lot of awesome ideas right as I'm drifting off to sleep and my brain is all sleepy and (debatably) crazy. I also keep a tiny notebook in my purse and write down random thoughts, and odd or funny things people say throughout the week. When I'm really feeling stuck, I talk things out with my wonderful and creative husband. He's almost as sick as I am :).

I want to know, how do you guys do it? This is the part of writing that I find the most baffling.

How does this happen for you? Where do you get the thoughts that lead to "Hey, I can make this into 95,000 words. Woo hoo!"

Are we all just nuts? Should we blame Cthulu after all?

I'd love to know how you guys tick!


Scott said...

I never know when Inspiration (who I personally believe is a female entity) is going to strike.

My current out to query project was inspired by real life events. I've completely (at least I hope)fictionalized those events. The story pretty much wrote itself.

I've often gotten inspiration while reading. I read a poem in one book that provided the inspiration for a fantasy book I want to write at some point.

I'm always on the lookout for that dratted, elusive Inspiration. My friends laugh at me sometimes because I get this look on my face when we're out together that means "Hey, Inspiration is whispering in his ear again!" So, in many ways, the world around me offers inspiration as well.

Like you, I keep a notebook handy. I'm often inspired right as I fall asleep, or in the shower. I did a post on my blog about Inspiration and my frustration with it happening when I don't have a handy-dandy writing utensil nearby. : )


Danyelle said...

My ideas usually sneak up on me, deliver a sharp blow to the back of my head, and leave me reeling. Fortunately, the characters are just as active in the story as they are in acquiring my attention. >.<

ElanaJ said...

I get a lot of my ideas from little things. Two or three words in a song I love. A commercial I see on TV. Tiny little things that make me go "Hmm, what if...?" I love the "What if" game. That's how I get my ideas. Then I just go. At the end of every chapter, I ask, "What if...?" and try to make it interesting and cohesive by the end. Great question.

Abby said...

I'm like you. I'm always getting ideas when I'm drifting off to sleep or driving around. I have a little notebook in my purse too, for writing quick notes so I don't forget things.

On my WIP, I started with a very basic idea and spent lots of time brainstorming with my husband. And thanks to him, I've probably seen every superhero movie that's come out since we've been married. So, I'm sure that has influenced my story.

Some of it's based on my own life experiences, and there's even a dream in there that I had when I was about halfway through my manuscript. It's at the beginning of chapter 18. I don't know if you've gotten that far yet, but it gave me the heeby jeebies all day, until I realized how perfect it was for that scene.

I'm always on the lookout for new ideas, but sometimes I get tunnel-vision and can only obsess about the current WIP. :)

Anonymous said...

Hmm...this is a great question. My inspiration, my muse, comes from a lot of sources - the baristas at my favorite coffee shop, the kids I work with EVERYDAY, the lyrics in music, some small tidbitt in real life.

Mostly, though, it comes when I least expect it and when I am open to it.


Rebecca Knight said...

Wow, thanks for the comments, guys! Veeeery interesting. I love how many similarities there are as in a) The Notebook, and b) pulling ideas from everyday conversations, music, reading, etc.

Scott, I'm so jealous! I wish I had an "Inspiration look." ;)