Ideas are everywhere, and can come from anything. Pictures, songs, shows, everyday conversation, anyone and anything can spark an idea. Sometimes, the more ideas you find, the more that keep popping up when you least expect them. Sometimes, all we need to do to find ideas is look, listen and feel the world all around us. Ideas are everywhere if you just stop forcing yourself to look for them and let them find you.
Over the years, I have found ideas from many places and turned them into some decent drafts, and some not so decent drafts. Some ideas lead to great works, and others fall through, but they all deserve a chance to be explored and experimented with. They deserve to be given a chance to show their brilliance.
I’ve mentioned before that my first serious idea came from my eighth grade history class, when my awesome teacher started talking about the new colonies of America and indentured servants. I have thought up several ideas from other classes, but I find a lot of my ideas in several places.
Sometimes it will be something said in conversation, or a scene from a play or movie, sometimes it’s a game, or even another novel, or short story. Sometimes it’s social media and sometimes it’s even a song or several songs. Sometimes it’s just a simple image.
My second novel I ever completed was based off of a picture. It was a school assignment, one of the last assignments in freshman year english, and it was supposed to be just a short story. That was what it stayed, a short story about a boy in love with his best friend (this seems to be a common theme in my writing), and they died at the end because I didn’t know how to end it. It stayed that way until my junior year when I found it hiding on my computer and decided it wasn’t done. So an idea came from an idea. That piece still needs a lot of work, but I at least I finished it.
More recently, my ideas come from songs. If you just happen to take a peek at my short stories page, you’ll notice they are all song titles at this point. I have always had a love of music ever since I was a young child. Sometimes as I lay in bed at night listening to any kind of music, I jolt out of bed and have to write a new idea down based on a lyric or an instrumental or both. Some of the short stories turn out amazing (Amsterdam, Congratulations, The Scientist and Samson come to mind) and some fall flat, but they become words on a page and can always be fixed later, they can always become something more.
My current novel, which has recently grown into a nine book series, got its start from a book of prompts. There were a few that were similar that I pieced together and augmented as needed. It started as just a girl in a coma close to death after a serious accident, and then became a three book series, and then a seven book series, and finally a nine book series, pulling several ideas from pretty much everywhere as it grew.
That is the power of ideas and what they can become.
Where do you find most of your ideas?