Tuesday, September 22, 2009


I've had the wonderful opportunity to attend four writers conferences and will be attending another one next month. At every conference, at least one of the speakers talks about how they're always asked "where do you get your ideas?". I think there are some people who believe that writers have some magic pot of ideas that they pull from and that if you cajole the author enough, she might let you have access to it too.

The truth is for most authors there's no one way for us to come up with ideas. It might be a song lyric, a picture, or snippet of conversation overheard while out to dinner (I overheard a waitress telling someone at the next table that she knew someone who had been a ninja -- tell me there aren't story potentials there).

I stumbled across this link at some point: Project Indigo
And my mind went crazy with possibilities. I've not written anything inspired by these designs yet, but there are things percolating in there.

Newspapers articles and headlines are also sources of ideas for me. Just last week, there was an article following the proposition that they take the old section of the Bay Bridge that won't be used and build parks and housing on it. There were a couple artists renderings along with the article of a bridge with boxes of various shapes and sizes descending from the bottom of the bridge. Again, my mind went in a hundred different directions as I thought of story ideas.

Or as we were driving to a friend's house for dinner one night, my husband and I went around a curve on a road that we both drive every day. We were in his car and his satellite radio went out for just that curve. When the radio kicked back on, he told me that the radio always goes out in that particular place. My mind jumped to the question of 'why?'. What's so different about that piece of road? While I'm sure there's a logical explanation, I started thinking of a story were that section of road is the center of paranormal activity, maybe even a house sits there that's hidden from "normal" eyes.

Keep your eyes and ears open. You never know when an idea is going to strike.


Andrea said...

Do you keep an Ideas journal? How do you manage all of many, many ideas that you? How do you prioritize them?

Katie said...

This is why I keep my old mp3 player in the car with me, juiced up, because I get inspiration usually while driving to and from work. The mp3 player has a recording device to it, so I can talk about my ideas to myself without fear of running off the road.