“How do you come up with these weird ideas?” Since I started telling folks about my manuscripts, I get this question a lot. Don’t get me wrong, I totally don’t mind answering it. In fact, I LOVE talking about my own stories and other writers books. But at the same time, it’s a hard question to answer efficiently. The smart-aleck in me wants to say, “How do you NOT have constant ideas? My freaking brain never turns off! And who said my ideas are weird?” *paranoid much* That would be a rude answer and I’m southern so I most likely wouldn’t do that. Plus, my answers never seem to satisfy the person whose asking the question. So we both end up becoming awkward and uncomfortable before switching the subject to something else. Anyway, I thought I’d take a moment and try to explain how ideas come to me.
At the moment, I’m attempting to write this dang post around my husband’s incessant babbling about how his gym session went and what’s on ID TV at the moment. Lord help… So of course the story idea of a woman who beats her husband in the head with his gym notebook and buries his body under the trampoline is buzzing about my noodle. But I digress. Seeeeee, ideas can come from the simplest things.
I’ve learned though that the problem with random ideas is most of the time they lack the proper elements for a complete story. More specifically, goal, motivation and conflict which help form a well rounded plot line. Simply said, the poor haggard wife needs more meat to her story before it can be completely plotted. As writers, our elf needs ogres to fight in search of his prize, our vampire needs more than a beautiful neck to slurp on and our zombies need to eat brains because … well … that’s what zombies do. The folks running from the zombies though, they’re the ones who need to have GMC. The plight of our homicidal wife, though interesting and poignant, just doesn’t contain the proper elements to fill a plot line. Therefore, her story tromps dejectedly back to the drawing board to await more inspiration. And there you go … a story idea in waiting.
So the next time you wonder how your favorite authors come up with such out-of-this-world things to write about, just look around you. Ideas are everywhere! From the creepy checkout lady in the grocery story who I’m sure is a goblin in disguise to the monsters in our dreams. We draw inspiration from the world around us and from the inspiration boogie-boo’s lurking in our imaginations. The difference between a great idea and a completed story is whether or not the writer can take it from shiny new idea to a sparkling yet solid reality.
Got to run, I just got another idea! And in case you're wondering, that's exactly what my idea fairy looks like. :) LOL!