I get asked a lot about where I get ideas; I think other than “where can I get your book?” that has to be the second-most common question people have for writers. My own answer is, “anywhere and everywhere.” I have the odd distinction, I’ve found, of getting writer’s block ONLY with regards to “how am I going to write this story?” as opposed to “I can’t think of a thing to write.” I NEVER have the second problem, lol; I have far too many ideas.
A number of varied interests fuels this for me. Let me show you:
1)gaming – I’ve heard (many times) that I play MMO’s differently. I’m a huge fan of both World of Warcraft and Lord of the Rings Online, and very occasionally I play Spore too (it’s somewhere between an MMO and a single game). I literally found when I started on them that I couldn’t play any character without doing extensive characterization on said character. And, I have to keep to that one’s characterization. For example, I literally got an extreme mind-warp when my little rogue who loves herbalism and exploration was hanging out with my husband’s warrior, and ended up being the first of my WoW characters to beat a huge boss in Blackrock Caverns. You see, she HATES fighting. So my way of thinking was, “uhhhh… that’s not her! She’s not supposed to be able to do this!” (you ask then, why was she there in the first place? Well, Tinyforce collects hats, you see, and one drops in there…)
2)TV – I tend to be a fan of cooking shows, “Law and Order” and dance competitions. Oh yeah, and “Project Runway.” Occasionally “America’s Next Top Model.” Why? So many characters around to get inspiration from, so much visual stuff to see, so many ponderables to think about. New words occasionally.
3)The Internet – of course… well recently, for instance, I discovered Twitter. Human interaction, in any form, gets the mind fired up. This guy posts weird stuff, that one tells silly jokes or argues about something that gets me thinking. Oh yes, it’s fertile ground.
4)Books – Make no mistake, writers get ideas from other writers. There’s an old saying about no story is original, and that’s pretty true. But people’s takes on things are. That isn’t where I get my ideas, though; it could be a line, could be “well what would I have done in this scene?” or it could be just one or two words.
5)Music – I get fabulous ideas from music; I know a lot of writers do. I have the luck of being married to a composer. He’s taught me over the past few years to appreciate better movie soundtracks, and this heightens the thoughts and images I can get from them. But I also like listening to non-classical music. If something’s particularly poetic, it speaks to me. I swear someday I’ll manage a tale based on “Viva la Vida” by Coldplay…
With all that stuff, plus the world around me, and stuff happening within it, how can I not have enough ideas to blow my own mind? Lol, my cat has an obsession with apple cores. There are sparrows outside who get into fights with the squirrel in the pine tree there. We have interesting neighbors.
If you look at the world around you, what things interest you? What says “ooh, this is fascinating, I should write it down/tell someone else…”?