Apparently authors are always being asked where do you get your ideas from. You know what? I have never been asked this. Maybe because I am constantly spouting weird ideas, they are too scared to ask me. I do have a rather vivid imagination.
But just in case you were interested here is a list of places I often find ideas. I put them in an idea cloud using: www.wordart.com
There are loads of places brimming with ideas to be scribbled down. Sometimes I am like a tree with spreading branches reaching out into the far corners of the world, storing each idea on my leaves ready to drop them into a new book.
There are millions of ideas waiting to be explored. Some days though, it seems every topic imaginable has already been done, or that my ideas are too obscure for anyone else to be remotely interested. But, maybe that has more to do with the mood I’m in rather than the actual flow of ideas.
From the day I decided I want to be a writer, I started to carry a notebook on me. I write down everything, as my memory for trivia is awful. Talking to children, and listening to children, also gives me loads of ideas. Although, I am no longer teaching I am lucky, as I have three children who liked to get into mischief and that triggered lots of ideas too. My children are all grown up now but they are still a great source of new ideas.
Sometimes, I really have to make myself notice what is going on around me, as when I am working on a project, I find I mull it over in my mind and walk through real life in a daydream. Not such a good idea when you’re driving or trying to explain why you’ve reversed into the tree at the edge of the driveway… again.
I tend to get my best ideas for things that I’m already working on when I’m reading something else. Surprisingly, it never has anything to do with what I’m actually reading. I think it might have something to do with cognitive processes. I did a degree in Behavioural Sciences, so I can say things like ‘cognitive processes’ and know what I’m talking about. Pity no one else does.
But what do you do with these ideas once you’ve got them? Often an idea needs time to grow and sort itself out in my head. I tend to draft scenarios in my notebook, then re-write them on the computer and print them off. You can tell if something is really rubbish when you see it in print. I also pretend I am the character and act out the scenes blow by blow in m,y study, or sometimes I act out little scenes in my head.
Opps! There’s that tree again.