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Where do your ideas come from? : Conversation question • Writing Forum | WritersDigest.com

Where do your ideas come from?

Every month in Writer's Digest's InkWell section, we pose a question related to the writing life. Tell us your thoughts.
Jennifer.Lakhlani
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Where do your ideas come from?

Postby Jennifer.Lakhlani » Tue Jul 22, 2014 2:03 am

My ideas have came from my experiences with my children, things my children have told me about from school, and from blogs or articles I run across. For example, I have done much research over questions pertaining to writing and getting published. Often times I cannot get my answer from just one source. So I will search out many sources and write up my own answer in my blog (http://www.seekingsuccessfulauthor-ization.blogspot.com). Then I'll link it to my writer resources page on my website (http://jenniferlakhlani.com). I also like to share the things I've learned about life and it's lessons on my other blog (http://spirituallyawakening.blogspot.com). The only problem is, I don't blog often enough to draw a crowd. I need to really buckle down and contribute constant new things to at least one of them. I just have so many directions I want to write in, and I really need to narrow myself down to one or two niches. :oops:

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mammamaia
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Re: Where do your ideas come from?

Postby mammamaia » Tue Jul 22, 2014 10:28 am

from anything/everything i've seen, heard, read, observed, experienced, imagined, dreamt...
ALL 6 e-book collections of my work are FREE...email me with "want free books" in subject line and include a message.

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cosivantutte
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Re: Where do your ideas come from?

Postby cosivantutte » Tue Jul 22, 2014 2:15 pm

My ideas come from anywhere and everywhere. Sometimes it's from going to the library and seeing the different book titles. Sometimes it's from song lyrics, the right kind of picture, or a weird, quirky thought spawned by the question What if.

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Crono91
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Re: Where do your ideas come from?

Postby Crono91 » Tue Jul 22, 2014 3:10 pm

My ideas are like a snowball effect. I'll just see one thing and my brain will just roll with it.

My current novel all originated simply from an opening in a movie where it showed the sun. I almost couldn't even focus on the movie because my mind wouldn't stop mulling over concepts.
Be proud of your mistakes when they form from blinding passion. But now edit them.

Mike1950
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Re: Where do your ideas come from?

Postby Mike1950 » Wed Jul 23, 2014 3:16 pm

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Last edited by Mike1950 on Wed Jul 30, 2014 2:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

James A. Ritchie
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Re: Where do your ideas come from?

Postby James A. Ritchie » Wed Jul 23, 2014 4:17 pm

I usually don't work off ideas, at least in the normal sense of the word, because I write five days per week, year in and year out. I can't sit around waiting for an idea.

When ideas do come, however, they come from everywhere, and they almost always come with a full-blown story wrapped around them. A couple of dollar bills shredded by a lawnmower popped short stories and articles into head, already written. A parachute pulled form a friend's attic when I was twelve earned me my first thousand dollar sale about twenty years later. A short trip rabbit hunting when my eldest son was nine or ten gave me an essay that I still think is the best single piece of writing I've ever managed. Watching a fly fisherman cheat by wrapping a piece of cheese around his fly when he thought no one was watching gave me three ideas, and three quick sales. Accidentally sitting on a small snake and getting bit on the bum gave me an idea for a humor piece. Having the chain come off my bike, which meant no brakes, while I was barreling downhill toward a very sharp turn gave me a quick, and somewhat painful, idea for another humor piece.

To me, the interesting thing about such ideas is that they do come with stories or articles or essays already fully formed and ready to go. I just have to write them down. I don't think I've ever taken more than five hours to write a short story, an article, or an essay that was generated by one of these random Pop-In-My-Head-From-Nowhere ideas, and they almost guaranteed to sell to top magazines.

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giginevie
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Re: Where do your ideas come from?

Postby giginevie » Tue Jul 29, 2014 3:49 pm

Like most of you my ideas come from every day life. I'm helping a friend write "Her Story," something very unusual that happened to her. I am also writing about the birds in my back yard. Mike what kinds of birds do you have? Do you have photos?

lionetravail
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Re: Where do your ideas come from?

Postby lionetravail » Wed Jul 30, 2014 7:38 am

Most of my ideas start with that famous "What if?" question- that alone can take you far. An example: I was listening to the news while driving, and there were a spate of bank robberies in the region over the course of several days. Boom! Free association; I asked myself "What if this really ridiculously improbably thing happened?", and then it hit me- wow! I can postulate a reasonable explanation of how... now I just need an investigator to work on it and figure out why it happened, who and why he or she'd be investigating, and so on.

(I'm collaborating with someone on writing this monster now :))

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MookyMcD
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Re: Where do your ideas come from?

Postby MookyMcD » Wed Jul 30, 2014 11:22 am

I spend a lot of time letting ideas germinate--hours per day--and discard hundreds if not thousands for any one I develop. So I think, for me, it's more a question of sifting through a massive slushpile of ideas and selecting an idea to keep than coming up with an idea.

James A. Ritchie
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Re: Where do your ideas come from?

Postby James A. Ritchie » Wed Jul 30, 2014 1:58 pm


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