1. ClusterChuck
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    ClusterChuck Senior Member

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    The queston.... "Where do you get your ideas?"

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by ClusterChuck, Apr 19, 2012.

    Every accomplshed author get's asked this and they apparently hate it. They could tell you walking my dog, or gettng divorced, or riding on public transportation. But really it's life right? We bleed into our characters, setting, and conflicts shades of our reality from a unique perspective.

    So I'm asking it here. What part of your mortal jig do you bleed into your writing? Where do you get your ideas?

    Me? That would be the relationships i have with the people i'm close with. And generally anythng that surprises me or prompts me to ask 'what if?" Like last week I passed a six car pile up on the highway. Sent chills up my spine and the rest of the day i couldn't help but realize the dynamics of animal careening around tons and tons of metal and glass in a bizzare ballet of 70 mph blaise faith. I started noticing every soccer mom texting behnd the wheel (which is legal in FL) and every other little nuance of the drivers around me. I became accutely aware of an aspect of reality that is stored away in a war chest of reference material in my head. In between check out lines and the food network for some reason...

    Oh and smells. My life is chronicled by a warehouse of smells. Which has played a larger part of my process than i would have thought.
     
  2. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i don't hate the question, but it has been asked many times here in many threads you can easily browse if you do a site search for them...

    i'll tell you what i say in all of them:

    i get my ideas anywhere and everywhere... from all i see, hear, touch, smell, taste, read, know, experience...
     
  3. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    It depends.

    One of my mystery ideas was born after reading a biography of Louis Braille, specifically the part where he and a companion went on a manhunt across Paris for a general who had this system of raised dots for his soldiers to read at night (this inspired Louis to invent Braille.) The entire chapter was him and the companion knocking on doors, questioning people, and basically playing private detectives. This made me want to write a Colonial mystery about a young, blind French kid in 1770s Massachussetts.

    Others are from videogames. Red Dead Redemption made me want to do a Western, Zelda made me want to a fantasy and Mass Effect made me want to do a sci-fi.

    Some others are from movies. I remember watching As Far As My Feet Will Take Me, based on a story about a German POW who walked from Russia back home after his capture toward the end of the Second World War.

    So, yeah, it comes from those kind of places.
     
  4. funkybassmannick
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    funkybassmannick Contributing Member

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    I get a lot of my ideas from grad school. Every fact or concept I'm learning, I'm learning it twice simultaneously: once for being a therapist, and twice for being a writer. I also listen to the news quite a bit. I find I get more ideas from non-fiction rather than fiction, but I learn more about writing craft from the latter.

    I also take a lot from the TV shows and movies I watch. Again, I often get more from the documentaries I watch rather than the fictional shows.

    Another hobby of mine is people-watching (especially on the Train) and imagine what their life must be like. I often base it off my first impression, and then I challenge that with "What if I'm totally wrong?"
     
  5. Pea
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    Pea super pea!

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    Mammamaia has it covered. That's the answer.

    There are probably about 20 threads on this already.
     
  6. CH878
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    CH878 Active Member

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    Two words: walks and lessons.

    Throughout my school career, which is sadly near an end, I've been able to judge how bad a teacher is by how many plot lines I've come up with during a lesson.

    Walks just give you so much time to think, and maybe the physical exercise had a good effect.

    I don't pour a great deal of myself into my characters, but I do take some inspiration from interesting people I meet, though I never completely copy someone's personality.
     

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