Saturday, September 22, 2012

Forming story ideas

In the last two days I've spent about six hours lying in the park. I desperately needed some sunshine, so took the opportunity to get out there and soak up some rays.

While I was lying there, I watched all the people come and go - mothers with their kids, teenagers with their friends, toddlers with their nannies and young couples on what could potentially be their first date.

It's a great place to get inspiration for future story ideas, to imagine the lives of these people, their ups and downs and what makes them tick. In fact, I probably spent about an hour creating the spider web of relationships in my head for a toddler and her nanny yesterday.

One thing I found interesting though, was that none of the stories I came up with while in the park really spoke to me in the way that my past characters have done. The stories I write seem to jump up and down in my head, demanding my attention and doing whatever possible to force me to tell the story.

The stories I'm compelled to write honestly just come to me when I'm actively thinking about ideas.

I read a lot of authors say they have an image come to them that they then build on, or they saw something in their daily life which they turned into a story. My ideas don't seem to work like that. Sure, I've had some images that have come to me, but none really speak to me in a way that I can pull a story out of it. It might give me a general idea but that's about it.

So I'm wondering, where do your ideas and inspiration come from? Are you the type of author who's ideas just appear before your eyes or do your ideas come to life when you really sit down and concentrate?


  1. I really don't think I can pin down one specific source that my story ideas "come from." I could try to describe it and go on for a long time...but I think I'd ultimately have to just say that at its core, inspriation is a really mysterious thing.

  2. That's a rally perfect way of describing it. As a mysterious thing. I think you're right. When people say "how did you come up with the idea for your book", it's such a hard question to answer. "I don't know" doesn't really suffice but trying to pinpoint how you came up with the idea is really tricky!