Dawn Colclasure's Blog

Author and poet Dawn Colclasure

Sunday, August 17, 2008

How I get ideas for writing

One writer I know is participating in a blog chain. The bloggers pick a theme to blog about each week, and a recent question they had was, "Where do you get your ideas?" This writer posted her answer in her blog and invited other writers to share how THEY get their ideas for their writing.

So, dear readers, here is my response:

"As for me, the characters "come" to me, ready to tell their stories.

Or I will see something happen, read something, and, bing! There's another story idea.

I play the "what if" game a lot. I look at scenerios that unfold before me, take something someone has said, and turn it around asking "what if? what if?" until I have a story.

Dreams are another way I get ideas for stories, too. Some dreams, however, are just too hard for me to turn into a story. I once dreamed of where this woman goes crazy out of fear and, in her delusions, she accidentally kills her little boy, thinking he is someone else. There was no way for me to write that story! I dreamed it before I had my own son, and it was just too hard for me to write it. A writing contest I saw later gave me an idea on how to change that and turn it into a story that I COULD write. (Huge feeling of accomplishment writing that story. Yay!)

Also, I'll take a popular saying, or a spin on a popular saying, use it as a title and work from there.

Finally, I get ideas from reading books. For example, one story had something happen in it that was never resolved. And I was left asking, "Well, what happened???" Since the book I just read doesn't tell me, I create a brand new story answering that question. :)"

And just a quick note here: Sometimes, I'll discuss things with people and they'll suggest I write a story about it.

It's true what they say: Ideas are everywhere. Writers just know where and how to find them!

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  • At 1:34 PM , Blogger colbymarshall said...

    I tell people I buy my ideas off a guy on the corner for five bucks a pop, lol. I get sick of answering that question!

  • At 4:27 AM , Blogger Ronald L. Smith said...

    I agree. Ideas are everywhere. All you have to do is sit quietly and let them come out of your head.

  • At 10:22 PM , Blogger Dawn Wilson said...

    Colby: That is too funny. Makes me think of new ways to answer that question, myself! :D

    PB: Yes, this is true. Or, sometimes, all it takes to get an idea for something to write is to just look out the window. :)


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