Monday, April 02, 2007

Finding Ideas

"If you wrote from experience, you'd get maybe one book, maybe three poems. Writers write from empathy."
~Nikki Giovanni

It’s BAFAB Week!

Go out and buy a friend a book…for no good reason other than to share the love and the power of the written word. And if you have any favorites you plan on buying, let me know! I’m always up for a new recommendation.

Speaking of books, it’s always amazed me that some people have no trouble at all thinking of plotlines. They churn out short stories and/or novels with fresh, interesting characters and conflict on a regular basis.

Me? Well, it’s a little harder for me. When I first began writing, I figured I had about 2-3 good ideas. After that, I was stumped.

Well, not anymore. I don’t know if it became easier as I wrote, or I honed my senses for sniffing out good ideas in the world, but now there seems to be no shortage of ideas running through my head.

Some come to me in dreams. Some in the shower. Some while I’m running. Others still come straight from the headlines, like these (all from the last 7 days):

Husband Kills Wife's Lover; Wife Charged

Leave Me Be, 98-Year Old Woman Tells Young Admirer

Hired Killer Warns, 'Your Husband Wants You Dead'

Shower Reveals Inmate is Really a Woman

Truth is stranger than fiction, indeed.

What about you? Where do your ideas come from?


hellojed said...

I've never heard of BAFAB but it's a great idea - I love buying books for my friends.

My ideas tend to come from headlines, documentaries and articles mainly - but the idea for my current novel came to me while sitting in an aeroplane. Perhaps it was the thin air or the altitude?

bunnygirl said...

My ideas have come from all over, but my post-peak oil trilogy definitely came from the news.

I spent two years researching the subject, even joining email lists and forums. I came to feel like an imposter after awhile. Here were all these people preparing for an apocalypse, and I was just looking for good writing material!

Marianne Arkins said...

My ideas come from no particular place... I'll usually start with a basic character and run with it -- who would be her exact opposite? What's the worst situation she could be in? Stuff like that...

Oh. And dreams. Lots of stuff comes from dreams.