Every writer gets asked about ideas. Where do they come from? How do you find them? What inspires you?
Uber-cool author Neil Gaiman suggests that you should ask yourself questions and start filling in the blanks:
– What if ___ ?
– If only ___ .
– I wonder what/why ___ .
– Wouldn’t it be interesting if ___ .
A classroom full of seven-year-olds once asked him, “Where do you get your ideas?”
Here’s what he told them:
“You get ideas from daydreaming. You get ideas from being bored. You get ideas all the time. The only difference between writers and other people is we notice when we’re doing it.”
Finding ideas in weird places …
I often find ideas in images. Last night, I realized that my new novel needs a super-creepy H. P. Lovecraft-ish creature. You know, something with flailing tentacles and far too many eyeballs.
But where could I find something like that, and still be fresh and original?
Try an electron microscope. I’ve found that its images often have a creepy, otherworldly look to them. So I browsed through an archive of super-magnified pictures of bugs (not something I recommend doing just before bedtime).
Eventually, I hit paydirt. An image of a wolf spider’s foot. Unlikely, maybe — but freaky!
So where do you get your ideas?