Tell a non-writer you’re an author and the first question out of their mouth is usually, where do you get your ideas?
Sometimes it’s a puzzle for writers too. What happens when the story idea bank runs dry?
When I began writing, one major issue I had was one too many story ideas. They’d pop into my head while I was cooking, driving, shopping, you name it.
I have a pretty good memory but the fear was I’d forget them so I knew I should write them down just in case I had a memory lapse…and just in case I ever ran out of ideas.
I got myself a notebook and as soon as an idea sprung into my head, into the book it would go. After that I’d cut out articles or ideas from newspapers and magazines and stick them into the notebook. Some were interesting locations that could make the perfect setting. One example of that was a travel photo guide of the San Juan Islands…yes, I’ve still have to set a story there.
Others included unusual professions, criminal cases from local newspapers, and I even found one that was a notice about a group of people who’d obviously been holding a meeting in a room that had been bugged and had placed an ad hoping to find anyone who had information about the incident. And, no, I haven’t used that one yet but it’s on my writer’s bucket list!
Many of the previous notebooks have fallen to pieces and the ideas have been transfered into new books. I still have some ideas floating around from when I first started writing. I also added a section for non-fiction when I became a freelance writer.
So if you ever fear you’ll out of ideas, start a notebook and begin jotting down things about plots and characters or even snippets of compelling dialogue. Use it as your go to resource when the muse needs a little nudge.
Maybe you already keep a notebook or some other form of remembering the ideas floating around in your head. If so, I’d love to hear about it so leave a comment.