2. Getting From Idea to Story
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| Tools You Need | Plagiarism—Don't! | Brainstorm |
Where Do You Get Your (Crazy) Ideas?
That's probably the most common question asked of all professional writers. It's a good question, too—though it's not the most important question. Most writers have plenty of ideas; the question is how to turn them into stories.
But still, the idea is where it starts. There's a joke among science fiction writers that ideas come in plain brown wrapping from a post office box in Schenectady. But if you don't believe that, the question remains—where do they come from?
Quite simply, from all over.
Anything you read in a book or the newspaper could trigger the idea you need. Likewise, everything you observe in the world around you, and everything you hear. (A dog barking. A teacher talking to a parent. A stranger complaining in the supermarket. A bad joke in a TV sitcom. An item on the evening news.) Literally anything can be the trigger for a story idea. Note, however: While TV shows and movies can be sources of ideas, if you're writing a story that's just like one you saw on TV last week, you're not exercising your imagination enough.
The key is to keep your eyes and ears open.
Look for ideas not just where you expect them, but also where you'd least expect them.
Course content copyright © 2005 Jeffrey A. Carver