Where do you get your ideas?


I’m sure if you asked a bunch of authors what the most popular question they’re asked in interviews is…it’d probably be this one. Where do your ideas come from?

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I’m really interested in how other people find their ideas. So there’s a poll at the bottom of the post for you to answer!

As for me, my ideas come from anywhere and everywhere. There are different types of ideas. Some are characters, or titles, or pieces of dialogue; settings and situations and moments and weird habits and scenes and objects. I have ideas all the time. Most of them I’ll never write about. Some of them I will. Only a very rare few of them will progress into a full novel.

If you’re not any good at thinking of ideas, I don’t think it really matters. When you get down to it, ideas aren’t that important. It’s the writing that’s important. Shiny New Idea Syndrome is a common affliction of mine – when you’re in a middle of a WIP and then, BAM, that’s a cool idea, I should write that instead…

Don’t fall into the trap! The Shiny Idea is a lie. It’s beautiful when it’s floating around in your head, but really? The idea you’re working on started out that way too. You’ve got to find a way to stay in love with what you’re working on.

I mean don’t get me wrong, ideas are wonderful. I just don’t think they’re the most important part of writing. You can have the best idea in the world and it still might be a terrible book (not you, whoever is reading this. You are wonderful).

I mean, one of the things in my “ideas” folder is “pencil case takes over the world.”

Sure, Past Emily. That’s a great idea.

Anyway, answer the poll below and tell me how you get your ideas! If none of them apply to you, choose the one that’s closest. Here I want you to choose the place you most often find inspiration/ideas. If you check “other,” let me know in comments what it is! I need ALL the ideas.

As for me? I get my ideas from Tumblr, hanging out washing, work, school, the shower, other books and conversations with friends. Thought you ought to know.

 

4 Comments

  1. Good point, though sometimes I’ll take a chance on a stray idea and be really happy with it. But sort of. It depends on other novels and the process, of course.
    I had a great/scary dream recently, which would’ve made a great in media res opening for a novel – MC and best friend escape the camp of a dystopian alien society after finding a FM message left by the best friend’s brother as he was murdered – but, in all honesty, I wouldn’t know what to do with it as a novel.

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  2. Usually I start with my character who are part of a world already. Then I explore the world and what kind of situations they’d get into there. Mostly, the characters just pop into my head.

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