Monday, November 22, 2010

Idea, Idea, Where Did You Come From?

As a reader, I’ve always wondered where some of my favorite authors get their ideas from. As a writer, ideas come to me at lightning speed. I’m currently sitting on like 50 ideas for future novels I could write, and new ideas keep coming at me constantly. Just this weekend I got three new ideas.

Saturday night, my husband and I went out on a date. When I was a child, my parents were always on the poorer side so we didn’t really go out much, so I had never been to the circus until now. I enjoyed the show, especially the acrobats. However, the animal acts rubbed me the wrong way. An idea was born. What makes a person want to join the circus? There’s always the stereotype that people with secrets hide it behind masks (or clown makeup). So that was the first of my ideas.

On the way home from the circus, I saw a fire truck doing down the street. That’s something ordinary that we all have seen many times in our lives. However, I started thinking. What if there was a cool female firefighter who races into a burning building in an attempt to save a little child’s life. A scene ran through my head, and around that scene, a plot formed. So that was idea number two.

Sunday, I decided to do some shopping when I walked into a makeup store and asked for help. You see, I have recently dyed my hair the complete opposite of my natural shade and needed to find a lipstick color that would work well with it. When I told the makeup people that I used to be a natural blonde and now I’m a dark mahogany red and that my naturally pinkish lips don’t go well with my new hair color, they were shocked to see that someone would actually darken their hair, and so drastically. That got me thinking; what if changing a hair color so drastically wasn’t optional. What if you had to escape and never be found? How many physical changes can one person do without resorting to plastic surgery? Also, if you were to be on the run, can you avoid your favorite spots? If someone who knew you very well, and very intimately was searching for you, would they know where to find you? Would you be able to lose contact with your entire family and friends for fear that you could be seen leaving someone’s house? So needless to say, a third idea was born; can someone truly disappear?

Maybe you will see those ideas being transformed into novels soon, or somewhere within the next fifty years as it might take me that long to write all the books I want to write.

Where do you get your ideas from? And do they linger in your head for a while, or just come to you at lightning speed?


  1. My ideas come from the most mundane things. That they blossom into something paranormal is the kicker. :)

  2. yeah I just pluck ideas out of thin air too, I was thinking what is the person who dyes her hair out of necessity joined the circus to hide?

  3. So many cool ideas! That's wonderful. You'll never suffer from a shortage of ideas. Like you, mine pop into my head, sometimes when I least expect it. It's weird how little seemingly insignificant things can spark big story ideas.

  4. Sometimes my ideas come from a word or two I heard, or overheard! And then they creep around in my head until I start to put them down on paper. Crazy how just a few words can end being a whole book!

  5. Hi Lia,
    My ideas come from all around. It maybe a news headline, or it may just pop into my mind. From that main idea subplots develop. I always think what if? and it seems to work well. Mind you I don't use the first answer, as the last is usually the best.

  6. Those are all great ideas! I love the circus one.

    Idea... hmm. They come to me much like yours do. I love that little flash when something hits you, and then you kind of prod it into a story. Fun!

  7. They do barrage me, but I sort them and jot down some for future reference, then forget the rest. Still, I will have to live to at least 200 in order to write all those I've chosen.

  8. Oh, you are very creative, indeed.

    My [very] basic ideas tend to come in dreams. I'm never in the dreams; I'm more of a director. Weird. The actual scenes for the stories typically come through songs/lyrics.

    I always know right upon waking which dreams are stories and which aren't. I had a story dream last night.

  9. Ooh, that's always my favorite stage - the "What if?" part. There are so many possibilities and *everything* seems possible. It's narrowing it all down that's the hard part.

    Oh, and I LOVE stories about people who have to completely disappear. I don't know why; maybe because my life is so normal that it's intriguing to think of someone who needs to escape. And then there's the wondering if that's even possible. And, of course, the inevitable makeover. :-)

  10. Love those ideas. Ideas for me usually come from out of no where. I get a main plot, then sub plots stem from there. It's weird, but when that main plot arrives, it seems to be easy from then on.
    Best of Luck with this new idea. :)