Today’s blog was inspired by yesterday’s wonderful blog by Collette Cameron. WHAT? You didn’t read it? Well, it’s right down below this one or, if not, you can find it here: http://smpauthors.wordpress.com/2013/01/19/have-we-all-done-it-4/
For crying out loud, go read it. I’ll wait here.
[Steve whistles and hums, while tapping his foot.]
Oh, you’re back. Cool.
Anyway, today I want to talk about ideas.
Now that I’m considered somewhat of a serious author, (believe me, I have no idea where they’re getting this impression) I am often asked: “Where do you get your ideas?”
Quite frankly, I wish I knew, so I could turn off the stream. I usually have about a half dozen ideas for books rumbling around in my noggin. Maybe it’s all that time I spent in my youth with my nose in a comic book, or the many hours I rode on the back of a dragon with Anne McCaffrey. Maybe it’s the time spent with friends exploring dank dungeons in search of gold and magical treasures, or the moments spent on my back, on a sunny summer day, finding pictures in the clouds.
Whatever the cause, ideas for stories are constantly coming to me. Sometimes I get them down in a quick note or a brief start to the first chapter, before I drag myself back to my current work in progress. Many times, they’re gone before I can even start to write them. I know that I will never be at a loss for a story idea. Where they come from is anyone’s guess.
My wife and I have a game we play when we’re out ‘people watching.’ It usually starts something like this:
Me: “Honey, do you see that guy over there? He’s a spy.”
Her: “That woman next to him is not his wife…”
Between us we create an entire story about what the strangers around us are doing. Sometimes it turns out so funny we can’t help but laugh. Other times it’s more sinister. Our game is yet another source of story ideas that rumble through my mind.
Story ideas are easy, at least for me. That other part, the part where you get that idea out of your head and onto the page in an organized, readable and interesting manner? That’s a little harder, especially when all those wonderful new story ideas want to lead you astray.