1. the1
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    the1 Active Member

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    How do ideas come to you?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by the1, Jul 16, 2011.

    How do ideas comes to you and what do you so when you have thought of something fantastic to write?

    Are you actively thinking of ideas that may turn you into the next JK Rowling or do you passively go about your life and then suddenly something pops into your head?

    Do you just go about your life looking at different situations and imagining what could be?

    Once you get an idea, immediately what do you do? Do you open up a spreadsheet document and jot down what came into your head? Or once you have an idea in your head are you instantly consumed and considering the minute details of your epiphany?

    How do ideas come to you?
     
  2. spklvr
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    spklvr Contributing Member Contributor

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    Mine just come randomly. Sometimes they are inspired by a movie I saw or a book I read, maybe something that happened, a dream, something someone said, etc. But most of the time they just pop into my head. I think I have only decide to write something specific once. It was after I read Twilight, and I decided to make a parody of the whole vampire romance genre. Became a pretty good story imo.

    I have a word doc called Random Plots in a folder, where I write maybe a 100 words about the idea I had. Then I leave it for a few days before looking at it again. If I still think it's good, I write more about it in its own document. Leave it alone again, and if I STILL think it's good, I start plotting and writing it down. Very few of my ideas actually reach the getting written down stage.
     
  3. thewordsmith
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    thewordsmith Contributing Member Contributor

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    I have mine shipped in daily from New England.

    Sorry. No, actually, I never consciously try to think of story ideas. I have a multitude of computer and dead tree files filled with story concepts and fragments that I don't want to forget for that "someday" when I'll have the time to tackle the next one or two or three of them.

    How do they come to me then, if I don't actively try to come up with them? The same way Lenny Bruce came up with comedy routines. I just pay attention to the world around me. Without trying, the ideas come. I may be watching the news and some little bit of something will trigger an "Oh Wow!" moment. Or, hearing someone on a talk show, even discussing a film or book, some fragment of a sentence will send me off on a, "what if" for a story totally different genre and concept from that discussed... just a few words, that's all. Or seeing kids playing in the street, for some reason, may trigger a train of thought that turns into an out of control locomotive of ideas. They come so frequently and so readily that I no longer bother to write notes on them unless they keep coming back to me insisting I give them due attention. If I had the luxury of doing nothing but writing thirty-six hours a day, never stopping to eat or sleep, I'd still need another seventy-two hours in a day to even begin to make any inroads into them all so I just gave up on trying. Shame, too. Some of those ideas were truly stellar but, being involved in various stages of two or three others, I just didn't have the time to give them the attention they deserved.

    So. To answer your question in brief: How do the ideas come to me? In ambush, like sniper fire from three-quarters of a mile away.
     
  4. whitefairy24601
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    whitefairy24601 Member

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    When I try to think of a story I am sitting in front of an empty screen. When my life seems like it couldn't be busier I am doing something important and suddenly think, 'Wow, totally random story idea!'
    Sometimes I even sit, clear my mind, and write. I don't think, I just write, and sometimes what comes out is good. I have had plots where I have a dream and totally twist it into a story, but it depends. Stories come from everywhere.
     
  5. AveryWhite
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    AveryWhite Senior Member

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    usuallly they just pop into my head. ill be watching something or listening to somethingg or hearinggg some conversation or wordd and thiss storyy orr a characterr willl just unfoldd in my mind. i havee so manyy story ideass now itss getting to the point where i have to many!!

    thoughh there hass been a few timess wheree iv activelyy and purposfully thought of a concept or idea for a new story.
     
  6. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    like the others have said my story ideas come randomly too. I never go around and actively try to come up with a story idea, the best ones seem to appear out of the blue anyway :) it can be something I've heard, a songline, a friend telling me something from her own life, or just a thought, a sentence or an image that forms in my head that I never know where they come from. (I have never asked ;) )
     
  7. MRD
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    MRD Senior Member

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    I spend a lot of time daydreaming. And those daydreams usually come in the form of story ideas, or a premise on which I can build a story. Sometimes movies, books I've read recently, or the music I'm listening to will affect what kind of story I'll end up dreaming.

    Once I have the groundwork of a story down, I tend to walk a lot. Nothing helps me blow the creative bubble more than pacing around my living room.
     
  8. Drusilla
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    Drusilla Active Member

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    To me they mostly come randomly. No, I don't usually write it down at once. Not until everything is clear. When I first get an idea of how something can be, it may take a week until I realize how things might work or it may take six months. Sometimes I really irritate/torture myself with trying to get some clarity around the random indeas I get into my head. I might sit/lie down and think for three hours straight while trying to find some logic to my ideas. For example. A voice in my head tells me that the main character has a great task in front of her to deal with. And she is going to do exactly that. But how is she going to make it?

    I usually make some few notes here and there, but I always remember the ideas anyway.
     
  9. VM80
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    VM80 Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm inspired especially by books I've read, the news & music I've listened to.

    The idea for my first proper would-be novel circa 2003/4 came about because of - 1. the war in Iraq and 2. reading 1984.
     
  10. PenandPencil
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    PenandPencil Member

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    Songs, films, books, people, games, dreams and history all inspire me - greatly. Everything I've written so far is also seeped in History, from different time periods, and that's down to my love of History.

    So, another inspiration source could be a particular interest you have. Say, for example, if you're a Wimbledon nut you may like to write something about tennis. ;)
     
  11. Drusilla
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    Drusilla Active Member

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    Yes, it inspires me too. It's funny how video games can inspire! XD Some video games are just too good to be video games. I wonder why they didn't make fantasy novels out of the Zelda games. I believe they could have been really good fantasy books.
     
  12. PenandPencil
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    PenandPencil Member

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    Assassins' Creed (series) is perhaps my biggest influence at the moment. I play it not because of the gameplay or anything, because of that terrific, polish historic story. It is pure genius. It is so unnoticed now because it is a game, so it isn't as popular, but there are some book volumes now of it I heard. But they aren't as accurate the game. If that became a film, it would be bigger than Harry Potter, or as big as. I swear, it is like the game is based off a film/book. It is ... unbelievable. :D :cool:
     
  13. aimi_aiko
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    aimi_aiko Contributing Member

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    How do ideas comes to you and what do you so when you have thought of something fantastic to write? Ideas come to me at the most random moments. I could be sitting down and watching television and all of a sudden I will literally stand up (most of the time I jump up) and immediately grab my notebook and start writing.

    Are you actively thinking of ideas that may turn you into the next JK Rowling or do you passively go about your life and then suddenly something pops into your head? I just go by normal life, and ideas just hit me out of nowhere.

    Do you just go about your life looking at different situations and imagining what could be? Yes, as a matter of fact, I do. :)

    Once you get an idea, immediately what do you do? Do you open up a spreadsheet document and jot down what came into your head? Or once you have an idea in your head are you instantly consumed and considering the minute details of your epiphany? Once I get an idea, I immediately grab my notebook and jot everything down, as I mentioned above.
     
  14. Drusilla
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    Drusilla Active Member

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    I have only played Assassin's Creed for like 40 minutes. I'm sure I will play them some time.
     
  15. PenandPencil
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    PenandPencil Member

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    I am partially insulted! :p

    But really, OP, inspiration comes from lotsa things. Finding it isn't too hard either - open your eyes wider! ;)
     
  16. Drusilla
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    Drusilla Active Member

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    Sometimes I can not seriously remember where I got the inspiration from. Sometimes, it feels like I just got it from my imagination.
     
  17. PenandPencil
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    PenandPencil Member

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    Sometimes it's the spur-of-the-moment thing too. Like, when I'm just doing an activity that has nothing to do with my novel, and something is triggered and I have an idea. It is rather strange, but I love the feeling when an idea comes to you, but it is foggy and unclear but you want to expand on it further. And then, unless you write it down, when you wake up the next day, you'll probably forget some of the minute details that could tie the whole thing together. I HATE when that happens!! :eek:
     
  18. Fullmetal Xeno
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    Fullmetal Xeno Protector of Literature Contributor

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    Ideas mostly come to me from People. But there's plenty of other reasons why i get the ideas i get. One idea i just got from a commercial.. :)
     
  19. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Ideas don't usually just come to me out of the blue. I have to go out and track them down. I've mentioned this before somewhere on this forum: One good source of inspiration for me is a book of photographs, or maybe a magazine with great photography, like National Geographic. I just page through, looking at pictures, until something looks really interesting. A picture of a face - what kind of character could that be? What is his or her life like? Or a picture of people in a situation I don't normally get into myself - a jungle village, a fishing boat, a research laboratory, a military camp. These help trigger my imagination. I start wondering what these people are like, what they're doing, what problems they face, what their struggle is like. Lots of stories come out of pictures.

    But sometimes I can just gather threads out of daydreams. A character here, a setting there, a situation ... and over time, all that gels into an idea for a story.
     
  20. thalorin19
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    thalorin19 Member

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    They come at random.

    But usually when I'm driving. Or standing in long lines at places.
     
  21. colorthemap
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    colorthemap Contributing Member

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    Talking to yourself is helpful.
     
  22. AveryWhite
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    AveryWhite Senior Member

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    that is annoying!!!! happened to me so manyy times hehe
     
  23. KarlSmith
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    KarlSmith Member

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    I usually just listen to music and walk for a while and the ideas just come to me ^^
     
  24. akrushinski
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    akrushinski New Member

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    My ideas come from a combination of dreams, and from those "what if" questions I ask myself on a day-to-day basis. I slowly try to narrow down broad ideas into workable plots.
     

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