A short while ago, I got together with a group of friends, most of whom were readers not writers. It’s always fun to get together with people who are strictly readers because they are always so fascinated by the creative process. The things that are mundane to a writer, because that’s just how we operate, hold endless wonder for readers. I think that’s so awesome. When reader/writer gatherings occur, without fail, the question Where do your ideas come from? always gets asked. All artists have muses. They provide us with fodder for the next project constantly. Inspiration for stories is all around us everyday. Any little thing that sparks our interest can be the spring board for an entire novel, be it a news article, the scenery around you, an off hand comment from a friend/family/colleague.
What I find more interesting as both a reader and writer is how those ideas are in turn communicated to us. I have writers friends that talk about having characters pop into their heads and start talking, telling their story. While I sometimes wish it would, it does not work that way for me at all. I get movie clips in my head of these terrific scenes. It’s then up to me to translate them from an image into words. I have to figure out how bring the scene to life so that a reader can generate their own version of that scene. I probably function this way as a byproduct of being plot driven more so then a character driven writer. However, once I have the scene, then the trick becomes figuring out what characters are right for that scene and the story as a whole.
So I pose this question to all the writers out there, as I find is infinitely fascinating, how do you get your story ideas? Do you see movie clips? Do you have characters wondering around in your head in search of the right plot? Please share.