Monday, May 19, 2014

In Search of Ideas

Recently I spoke at a junior high school to students about writing. Each class that came through ask me "How do you get your ideas?" It never occurred to me that the average person doesn't have a stream of plots, conversations or characters moving in and out of their head on a daily basis. I realized that those ideas came from somewhere. Maybe I'm just a little more curious about what is going on around me but I record a lot of information that may later inspire a story.  Here are some of my idea catchers.

Film & Television
     YouTube     Documentaries      News Programs
        Watch something unfamiliar on television or your DVR with the sound turned off. You write the  script. 
      History Channel
      Movies that explore cultures       

Printed Materials:

1.      National Geographic
2.      Tour brochures
3.      Post Cards
4.      Real Estate Ads
5.      News Journals
a.       Cut out headlines or articles

6.      Keep it in a journal for future reference.

j   Location:

Here are some ideas where you might get ideas on that allusive character you need to make your story more exciting and interesting.

1.     Coffee Shops       6. Parks                                       11. Transportation
2.      Book Stores        7. Sporting Events                         12. Medical Facility   
3.      Festivals             8. Sporting Stores like Bass Pro      13. Vacations
4.      Museums            9. Libraries                                   14. Family Reunions
5.      Zoos                  10. Parks                                      15. Concerts


  1. I'm like you - ideas are just always there. It's finding the time to write them that is the problem.

  2. What great suggestions! For years I wanted to write but didn't have any ideas, then suddenly the ideas just exploded. Now I have trouble choosing which ones to focus on.

  3. I know! I think I have 8 projects that I'm in various stages of writing. Then there are the notebooks with other ideas. Sometimes I imagine them fighting each other to get out so I'll notice them.