If I were a more popular writer, I’m sure more people would ask me where I get my ideas from. And I would tell them that I get my ideas from my notebook.
Shall I clarify? I suppose I’d better. Don’t want to be thought of as any more of a loon than I already am.
I get my ideas from my idea notebook. Of course, I have to put the ideas into my idea notebook, too. A lot of those ideas have been in that idea notebook for so long that I don’t remember where they’ve come from, though. Some of the ideas I don’t even remember having them, can’t remember writing them down. Those are the best. They’re so fresh and new. It’s like they were put there by an idea fairy.
As for the rest, I had to get those ideas the old-fashioned, hard way. I kept my eyes and ears open and asked “what if” a lot.
To me, ideas and inspiration can strike anywhere. I get hit with it a lot either in the shower or doing laundry. I don’t know why, but those two activities tend to bring out the best ideas in me. I can almost understand it with the laundry. I write a lot of horror, my washer is in the basement, and my basement can be a creepy place to be. I guess when I’m showering, I’m just looking for a way to keep myself entertained while I go through my daily cleansing ritual without much thought.
My ideas are all different. Sometimes it’s just a scene. Other times it’s a character. There are times when I’ve read an article in the paper or saw a segment on the news or some other program and just kept asking “what if” until I had something I liked. No matter what, almost all of them go into the notebook.
Few ideas come to me fully formed and ready to write at that moment. Even fewer insist on being written that second (if I really like those ideas, I will rearrange my schedule to accomodate them so I don’t lose their urgency and thrill). The fully formed ideas are harder to put into the notebook. They seem to go stale quicker than the fragments, suggestions, images, and dialogue.
I like to flip through my idea notebook at least once a month to refresh my memory on what goodies are lurking in there. Sometimes an old idea jumps out at me like a new frog fresh out of the pond. Sometimes I wonder what the hell what I was thinking when I wrote this bit down. But I don’t get rid of it.
The idea notebook is sacred like that. It’s where my ideas come from.
Stories By the Numbers
Sent Out: 3
Rejections: A story I called rejected last week due to no response last week got an official rejection this week (with a personal invitation to submit again because they liked my story, but didn’t think it worked with what they were doing for that project).