Tuesday How To: Finding Ideas

The first portion of Tuesday How To is the first step of the writing process: Ideas.

Without ideas, there is no direction in your writing, no way to continue and no way to know if you’re going in the right direction. So let’s stsrt to talk about ideas.

Let me start by saying this: Ideas are Everywhere.

Ideas are everywhere and sometimes we don’t always see them, or understand them. Sometimes they come in a quick flash and sometimes they grow over time. The first step is learning how to find them and keep them. Writing them down is a great start, and adding to them is even better.

Most of the time, ideas come when we least expect them to. We can be scrolling the internet, or watching tv, or even reading a book or a magazine and BAM! An idea strikes. Sometimes it seems like it’s been done before or that it’s too outlandish. Or maybe you don’t have enough information to make it a really great idea. Sometimes, several ideas turn into one, or one idea turns into several.

There are ways to make sure you keep your ideas and make them stronger, but the first step is to find them.

Here are some of the several ways that ideas have come to me:

1. Television
Television is great for ideas. I know how weird that sounds, but there are so many shows and so many ideas on so many channels that ideas are everywhere. In the plots, the dialogue, the action. There are ideas on the television, but with television you have to use a bit of caution. You can take ideas from tv, but you have to change them a little bit. Unless you are writing fanfiction, but that is a completely different field. I have taken several ideas from television, but I have been careful with what I borrow and what I use.

2. The Internet
The Internet is a great tool, for writers and artists. Anyone can use the internet. With the ever increasing use of smart phones and tablets and the thousands of apps coming out every day, ideas are right at our fingertips. I have a lot of accounts on a lot of websites and almost every website has ideas hiding somewhere. From Amazon to Youtube, ideas are all over the web. I have found many ideas on Tumblr, and the NaNoWriMo forums, and even a few from my friends’ posts on Facebook. Even google, and research for some current ideas has given me more ideas. The internet is a wonderful tool.

3. Everyday Life
Everyday life is an excellent source for ideas. Although, like with television you should be careful what you take. If someone tells you something in confidence, you shouldn’t exploit it because it will make a good idea for your book. Private things should stay private. But if you can change things, make it far enough from the truth that that someone could be anyone else, you should be alright. You can always ask, if you are comfortable doing that, but I would tread with caution. Even everyday things like doing laundry and vacuuming can give you ideas, as well as friends and family.

4. Music
Music is super important in my life and for a long time it was just that, music. I have been in choirs and musicals, I have listened to all different types of music and it wasn’t until recently that I realized music can give ideas too. Music was actually how I started writing short stories. At first it was difficult, trying to add all of the lyrics and make it make total sense, but once I let that go and focused on the idea that I thought was most important it began to work a lot better. Sometimes, the only thing that remains from the song is the song title. Try music for ideas if you’re stuck.

5. Books
Books are just as common as television and music, but they have been around for much longer. There are several kinds of books, ranging from fiction and its many facets, to non fiction, self help, encyclopedias and many more. Ideas are all through books, and sometimes they might surprise you. My ever growing series started from a book of prompts that I bought on a whim. Even more ideas can come from fairytales and children’s books.

Ideas are everywhere, but we have to be careful how we use them. Stay tuned next week for more information on ideas.

Where do you find most of your ideas?

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