“Where do you get your ideas?”

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

This is the question every writer gets asked. Usually the response is vague dread, because many of us don’t know on the spot where we get our ideas. The answer comes only after a good session of introspection, and at the moment the question gets asked, we can’t reflect on the question rapidly.

Over the years I’ve done this introspection, and these are the answers I’ve come up with:

  • From other books I’ve read. But I need to be careful not to plagairize.
  • From dreams/daydreaming. This is my favorite source. I often take a dream and interpret it using Jungian methods, which I call interrogating the dream.
  • From conversations with my husband, which often start with “What if?”
  • From observation. I don’t know if I’ve ever written a story entirely from observation, but scenes and characters often come from this
  • From what I’ve written previously. Sequels!

Sometimes I don’t have any ideas. Right now I feel like I need to write a new novel (after revising a couple) and I don’t have any ideas. Ok, actually, I have three ideas based on series I have going, but I don’t know how excited I’m getting about them. Not all ideas are workable:

  • One of the books would require living in Poland for at least three months to get the flavor of the place. I have no money, no knowledge of the Polish language, and no tour guide.
  • Another which is part of my Archetype universe, and for some reason it’s not grabbing me.
  • Yet another in the Archetype universe that’s too nebulous to write about.

I think I need some dreams or daydreaming right now to inspire me. My dreams last night were stupid and not worth writing about. In my dreams, an actor friend of mine got a nose job and I got really angry because he had succumbed to dominant culture beauty standards. That’s it. Unless I’m writing a warped version of The Picture of Dorian Gray, I don’t see much use in this dream.

So where do I get my ideas? Sometimes, nowhere.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s