The birds & the bees, mommy where do story ideas come from?

It’s an amazing day today, my incredible readers! I’m one of those people that loves it when it rains. I don’t feel gloomy or depressed, I feel cozy and fulfilled. I love to sit on my patio or in my room with the window open and just listen to the rain fall. I love watching it come down and bounce off the pavement. I also love to write when it’s raining. There’s something that just makes me feel so inspired. I’ve been thinking a lot about inspiration lately. I have been writing a chapter a week of my novella just for you lovely people. And I am starting to think about the next book in my novel series. All this writing equates to needing a ton of inspiration so I don’t bore people to death.

A question I often receive as a writer is “Where do you get the ideas for your writing.” The great thing about this question is that if you ask 100 different writers you will get 100 different answers. The answer for where a writer gets their story ideas will vary widely from one author to the next. You will see a plethora of theories and many writers will feel strongly about their theory. I thought it would be fun to throw my thoughts on this into the mix. I know I’m no Charles Dickens but maybe my ideas might spark something for you in which case I would find it to be completely worth my efforts.

Orson Scott Card, one of my favorite authors once said, “Everybody walks past a thousand story ideas every day. The good writers are the ones who see five or six of them. Most people don’t see any.” My theory is that inspiration can come from anywhere. A good writer knows to keep an eye out for it. There have been times when inspiration has blindsided me when I wasn’t paying attention, but usually it comes because I’m looking for it. I read books. I watch movies and listen to music. I people watch. I try new things. I eat copious amounts of good food. And when I do these things, I’m always looking for a new plot twist or a detail that I can add to make a character more believable or a fresh perspective to consider to help flesh out my story. Inspiration must be sought after or else you may miss it.

Inspiration oceans quote

What about those times where I can’t seem to find inspiration. They happen, usually at the worst times. For me when I feel like I’m stuck in a rut, when I feel like my go to areas of inspiration just aren’t doing it for me, I like to reach out to other people and see what inspires them. I love reading other writers’ responses to the ‘where do you get your story ideas’ question… that is if they give an answer that consists of more than a rote reply. I seldom come away from their responses without new places to seek out inspiration. Personally, there’s something about great art and the artists that produce it that speaks to the artist in me. It’s like kindred spirits meeting and spurring one another on to be better, to be greater, to improve, to not settle for mediocre.

It also helps bring out my competitive side. You may think that competition has no place in art but I disagree! I think not only does it help refill your wells of inspiration to see other great works of art in the area that you practice in, but it also incites you to push yourself to do more. This can be just what you need to turn a good story into a great one. Some people get discouraged when they receive criticism. But for me, I take it as a challenge to do better. I work to prove them wrong. I don’t give up until I have accomplished what they said I could not do. I have even found inspiration in the midst of criticism, but again, only because I look for it.

So that’s my theory on the question “where do story ideas come from.” I would love to hear your theories! I never know when I might need some new inspiration. So take a moment and jot down in the comments section, where you get your story ideas from. I’d love to hear from you.

Until we meet again.

  • I got your message on Twitter and joined your website.

    I enjoyed your article about inspiration. I started writing last February after retiring from teaching and closing my antique shop. At first, I just wrote because it was something to do. Now I am writing with a purpose of getting published.

    I never really thought much about inspiration. I have more story ideas, plots and character profiles than I know what to do with. I do like to spend time thinking “what if.” The most recent MS was a what if you can astral project–could you kill someone? Before that it was can an undead have a ghost and what if it haunted him? Now I am working on two new MS. The first is a what if you found a note in a bottle dated 30 years into the future and the note was from you? The other one is a what if you were stranded in Neanderthal time–how could you cope?

    I like the what if game.

    • Kara

      Thanks for joining me here! I really find the idea of an undead with a ghost original and intriguing. Did you publish it? I’d totally read that!

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