1. The Essential Writer
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    The Essential Writer Senior Member

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    Where do you get your ideas?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by The Essential Writer, Jul 13, 2008.

    Sorry if this thread's been done before, but..

    I get my ideas from people and things. I see them, I notice them, and I imagine a 'what if' about them and bam, there it is.

    Like today, I was waiting for my dad to pick me up and I saw a car pass by. I thought how strange it would be if he picked me up and he was being held hostage by someone. I got the hostage idea from my Tom Clancy game. Then I thought what if a kid was picked up by his father ( the kid lives with step mom to add a cliché twist ) and he entered the car and it turns out that his father was being forced to do things. Then I can branch of to different genres, plots, and so forth.

    Where do you get your ideas from?
     
  2. apothecaryrose
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    apothecaryrose Member

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    I get mine from music, reading, brainstorming with friends and watching people. I also find that the more I write the more ideas that I continue to have. So if i write regularly, I get many ideas as the day goes by. It'll come from something that I see or just thinking in general.

    Also I get some good ideas from the dreams and nightmares that I have. Nightmares scare the hell out of me but I kind of like them because they do give me such good ideas.
     
  3. Iron_Seitz
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    Iron_Seitz Member

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    The idea for my novel-in-writing (check out the first chapter titled "The Connoisseurs) came from a group some friends and I came up with. Every Friday we dressed up in eccentric, antiquated clothing and went out to eat. We called ourselves the Connoisseurs. So one day we were talking about what we (by 'we' I mean the Five Founders of the club) would be like as a band of criminals. Voila! An idea was hatched!
     
  4. The Essential Writer
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    The Essential Writer Senior Member

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    A band of criminals who dress up as the theme of the restraunt they steal from. Sounds cool!
     
  5. Acglaphotis
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    Acglaphotis Contributing Member

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    From music, reading and the odd tv show. I don't share ideas with friends, and when I watch people they strike me as uninteresting and I become bored. I rarely try a "what-if" approach but rather I just put on my headphones, play some music (instrumental, of course ;) and start thinking. Maybe get all existential and philosophical and I start from there.
     
  6. Daisy
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    Daisy New Member

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    I guess I get mine from everywhere and everyone. I mean I can just be reading a story in the newspaper and all of a sudden an idea pops in my head. Like you, the "What if" this or that had happened instead of what actually happened.

    I particularly like new discoveries or theories, (I watch the Science channel a lot) and I wonder what if that really happened in the future. What would the world be like, would we survive, and if so what would we be like, how would we treat each other, etc.
     
  7. Jade
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    Jade Active Member

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    Music :eek: The lyrics and 'feel' of a song can be really inspiring. I also brainstorm.
     
  8. Kratos
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    Kratos Contributing Member

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    Music, in so many ways. I always invision a music video for the song I'm listening to, and that gives me tons of ideas.
     
  9. tehuti88
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    tehuti88 Contributing Member

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    I get most of my ideas from mythology, and from the books I read on the subjects I'm interested in (Jungian archetypes, ritual abuse, more mythology :D , etc.).

    Then, since I write in series stories, I get more ideas from the characters and plots of the preceding stories. I love to imagine my characters in new and interesting situations, so that brings up lots of potential ideas.
     
  10. Rebekkamaria
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    Rebekkamaria Senior Member

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    Dreams, everyday interactions with people, my imagination, poems, song lyrics, art, other books, quiet moments that seem to be deeper than others... I just have a lot of ideas. I've had a lot of ideas always. I grew up imagining things with my best friend. We created worlds, powers, destinations, destinies. We just loved to play. Maybe that is a reason why I've never had any problems with ideas. My only problem has been my inability to write it down. Now, that problem is not that big of a problem anymore. :-D
     
  11. Sato Ayako
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    Sato Ayako Contributing Member

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    Most of my ideas come from music and random phrases. For example, I wrote a story I might submit to a contest after I heard the phrase "true fork".

    A few of my ideas come from conceits, such as "a dragon with one wing". Other times I'll start with a character and a problem: "Character A is a drug addict and the only way he can score more drug is to work for a crime boss."
     
  12. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    I find inspirations in music, walks, books, games, films, and strangely, images that i get in my head.
    You just have to keep your eye's open and look around, the world is full of things to inspire you.
     
  13. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    from everything i see/hear/experience/imagine/dream... where else could anyone get 'ideas'?...
     
  14. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Just everyday events or thoughts. Watching TV, or having a conversation, or reading a book. Then, seeing or hearing something, asking myself, 'what if'.

    Two examples of how that worked for me:

    Watching the news, I pondered for a moment, what happens to a soul trapped in a body, such as one in a coma. Then I took it a step further, 'what if' the soul was trapped in a body cryogenically frozen? The story that resulted was "Tethered in Prugatory".

    I wondered one time while listening to Stephen E. Ambrose's novel Citizen Soldier while driving to Myrtle Beach, what would theoritically happen if a fire-breathing dragon engaged a WW II aircraft, such as a Stuka dive-bomber, in areal combat. That was the first thought that eventually blossomed into a plotline and characters and into the novel Flank Hawk. (We'll see if it was an idea that grew into a novel length manuscript and well written enough to reach publication--and if it does, readers will discover the answer to my original 'what if' question :) ).

    So, for me it doesn't have to be something major. Just everyday life and a 'what if' question.

    Terry
     
  15. NaCl
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    NaCl Contributing Member Contributor

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    My ideas come from life...life as I know it, and life as I would like to know it.
     
  16. cargirl86
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    cargirl86 Member

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    So ... I'm the only who gets inspired in the bathroom? :D
     
  17. adamant
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    adamant Contributing Member Contributor

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    I was bored in my bathroom once, and noticed faces in the flooring... it was kind of interesting. Also, I've taken a picture of a paint spill that was in a sink -- looks like a winged creature to me.

    So yeah, anywhere and anything.
     
  18. HeinleinFan
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    HeinleinFan Banned

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    I can get ideas from just about anywhere.

    My dad and I love to talk about weird science and new technology. So one day he's reading something in a science magazine about viruses getting stuck into DNA and aiding evolution, and I happened to be nearby reading about the Spanish flu. We started chatting - and out of that emerged the idea of terrorists releasing a Smallpox variant that (they hope) might destroy Western society as we know it. When small sections of the Smallpox DNA merge with our own (which is technically possible) we end up with lots of kids being born with really fast metabolisms, weird-looking faces and hands, and fast reflexes. The fast metabolisms completely screw up half of the world's countries - the DNA-changed kids need about twice as much food as a normal kid to stay healthy - which causes war and starvation. And we just went on from there.

    Another time I was fiddling around with the idea of a "good" Mob or Mafia. You know - a group that would kidnap criminals in the night and maim, kill or humiliate them as a means of keeping crime down. Of course, no one wants to read about a main character who is an axe murderer; they're hard to make sympathetic, and I don't know that I'd feel good about myself if I portrayed a murderer as a victim. So I made my MC an innocent guy who was framed, and now he's trying to get out...

    Another time, I was fiddling around with the idea of genies and a magic system that would support them. That eventually led to Berendon's world.

    I've had ideas come from the old cliched standbys - "what would happen if aliens came to Earth?" - and from new things, like dreams in which the MC is a sabateur who would be on the moral high ground if he hadn't jumped to conclusions about who the guilty party in the government actually is. Psychics are fun (but you have to be careful to not have them all "cheat" by constantly knowing things the reader doesn't) and so are aliens - whether the "alien" in question is from Alpha Centauri or from the nearly-human tribe across the River of Painted Faces.

    And of course it helps that I go to a school where I regularly meet the sort of people who we assume only exist in books. Did you know there are, in fact, people who you just know within fifteen minutes of meeting them that they are a natural born leader, the type who would have no problem assuming a position of leadership on thirty seconds' notice? Or that there are people who are so good at climbing that they can get fifteen feet up a nearly featureless wall made of concrete slabs? They aren't common, but I've seen 'em - and that has given me a lot of food for thought when writing characters.
     
  19. hellomoto
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    hellomoto Contributing Member

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    I get my ideas from reading. Usually if I read a book with a good plot. I don't copy it, but I change things around and end up with a better and more exciting plot. Sometimes, I just right a small passage about someone getting killed, read it and edit it and then presto, I have an idea for a plot!
     
  20. TwinPanther13
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    TwinPanther13 Contributing Member

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    I get my Ideas from my dreams, pop sci and pop science magazine. discover magazine national geographic, the news paper, and legends and mythology of different cultures. Right now i am trying to find out more about central and south american cultures, and african cultures for some of there mythology. I hate reading novels out there and basing ideas off stuf like that. So far I have never written about elves, gnomes, or dragons, or any of the other High Fantasy archetypes. When I have magic in a story I base it more off Wiccan, celtic, and some voodoo traditions that are around today
     
  21. Alexa
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    Alexa Member

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    I get my ideas from music, tv, movies, dreams and every day life. I watch a lot of TV..like a lot! and I read a lot. Sometimes I'll read one word in a book and I'll get and idea from that word! with Television one quote would be said and it'll be stuck in my head until I write it down and do something with it.

    There are times when I'll wake up from a dream and remember it and I'll write down parts of what I remember then I'll be like 'this could work!' It happened the other day from a very strange dream but a story idea came out of it.

    Lyrics are great. Looking at lyrics or hearing music..REALLY helps with the flow of ideas. I sometimes put my music on and lay on my bed with my eyes closed just listening and I'll come up with ideas.

    Even when I go for a walk. I tend to think ALL the time. So I'll be walking by people and cars and things going on in the world and yeah..ideas just come out of nowhere...that happens a lot when I travel too
     
  22. Shizai Ko
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    Shizai Ko New Member

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    Music, tv, wandering thoughts. Sometimes my mind is more free in the first ten minutes of me waking up and some of my best ideas form in that time.
     
  23. Alex_Hartman
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    Alex_Hartman Contributing Member

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    I tried listening to music to get ideas, but it hasn't worked. When I first started trying to write my story about two years ago I sat down with a pad of paper and a pencil, thought of a title, and started writing based on the title. But that was a while ago, I'm having trouble finding something to write too...

    Something else I tried was writing about something that I did or came across in detail and I'm hoping that something will come out of it...but since it hasn't happend yet, I don't know if it wil work =/
     
  24. Flozzie
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    Flozzie Active Member

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    Some of my ideas I get from music, and the rest just pop into my head. I don't think I've ever gotten ideas from friends, other people or events, and I don't know if that makes me unnormal or not *g*
     

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