Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Wednesday's Writer's Tip - Where Do You Find Ideas #MFRWauthor, #amwriting

If I've been asked that question once, it's happened hundreds of time. How about you? Are people asking you where you get your ideas? My answer always puzzles them. "In the air. Ideas are all around. Open your eyes and ears." Sure ideas abound. Ideas excite. What the writer does with the idea is what makes the story different and unique.

I once read an anthology where all the writers were given the same idea, including the names of the characters and other ideas. I believe there were five or six writers involved. Die they write the same story? Not at all. Each story was different and unique. Each writer took the idea and found their own way to turn that idea into a story.

What happens is the idea occurs and the writer is off and running. looking at a number of ways the idea could work as a story. Rather than a simple boy meets girl scenario, the writer dreams up ways for the story to turn and twist. The idea is there but much depends on the writer's imagination.

I love dragons. On the shelf above my computer there are about maybe thirty. I've written just two stories where dragons have a role. In one the dragon is an enchanted princess and in the other the dragon is a wise giver of advice. The dragons are both yellow. The idea came from a piece of spatter art my grandson gave me years ago. This looked like a yellow dragon. Both stories came from the same object. Both stories are unique. Perhaps one day there will be more.

There are always ideas that come to nothing. But they may some day. So if an idea for a story occurs rather than taking the first road you discover, take the idea and twist and turn it to find something that's unique and something that's yours, not written in the same direction some other writer has taken.


Janice Seagraves said...

Great post and great advice.
BTW, I like dragons too. :)


Melissa Keir said...

That's the idea about the flash fiction. We have one picture and we all write about that picture. The stories are certainly very different. :) I love that challenge.