10 Places I Get Ideas for Stories…

14/02/11 9:00 AM

…in no particular order:

  1. PostSecret (My short story “A Touch of Charlotte” was inspired by one of the postcards from PS.)
  2. The “Science” section from one of my favorite magazines, The Week. Actually, almost all the sections of The Week get my juices going (a close second – almost anything in Wired).
  3. The news, in general.
  4. Cop shows like Law & Order, SVU, Criminal Minds.
  5. Freak shows that A&E and TLC like to run, like Hoarders.
  6. People watching, anywhere.
  7. My idea journal. (When I was a kid, I loved going through my toy box and finding things I’d forgotten about. It’s the same experience with my idea journal, which is where I record ideas whenever they come to me, including the middle of the night.)
  8. The shower. What is it about the shower that does it for so many people?
  9. Driving. Ditto the shower; there’s something about driving that soothes my muse and allows the ideas to flow.
  10. The beach, especially during the off-season when no one is around.

If you’re a writer, where do you get your ideas? Share in the comments.

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Posted by Robyn | in Creative Writing | 8 Comments »

8 Comments on “10 Places I Get Ideas for Stories…”

  1. Phil Says:

    I get inspired the most by music (if I listen to any good song, my mind immediately begins to construct a narrative), by memories of what I enjoyed most in my favorite books, by non-fiction reading and thinking about what crap movies did wrong 😉

  2. Robyn Says:

    Phil, do you listen to music while you write? I find that I can’t (unless it’s ambient sound in a coffee shop), but I will say that when I’m heavy into my WIP, I’ll become obsessed with a song or two that I play over and over on my PC in between writing “takes.”

  3. Michael Offutt Says:

    This may seem extremely nerdy, but I have two sources for ideas. Roleplaying games in which you create a character and sit at a table with other folk (or at a convention with other gamers) gets my mind really going with possibilities and scenarios for that character.

    My other inspiration is pictures. I’m a fan of art and I surf through Elfwood or DeviantArt or even professional art books (I own a couple of Michael Whelan’s and H.R. Giger) plus one of my favorite artists is Salvatore Dali. Anyway, I stare at a picture and a story pops into my mind about the picture.

  4. Robyn Says:

    Not nerdy at all! (Or maybe that makes me a nerd? :)) I think roleplaying is a really cool idea. Sometimes I’ll have conversations in the car when I’m driving and it’s between my characters. So I guess that’s somewhat similar.

  5. Ghenet Says:

    It’s funny you mention Post Secret but I was on that site recently and thought that it was a great place to get ideas. The idea for my current WIP originally came from a personal experience, but has transformed to something completely different. I’ve also gotten ideas from songs, the news, and things that have happened to me or other people. I love those random TLC shows too!

  6. Robyn Says:

    @Ghenet Random TLC shows are the best. (But what a time sink sometimes!)

  7. Christopher Truscott Says:

    3, 8 and 9 — big time.

  8. Robyn Says:

    I think there should be a study on why the shower is such a perfect place for ideas. (Who knows? Maybe one already exists.) I just read about AquaNotes – waterproof notepads for the shower: http://www.myaquanotes.com/