Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Where do you get Ideas?

Where do writers get ideas?

A lot of times we get ideas from writing prompts. My story Lucy of Tupper's Hollow came from a writing prompt. They said to pick up a book you were then reading or a book you had just read or one next to you and use the first sentence from that book and start your story. The book laying on the floor next to me was Christy by Catherine Marshall. I love that book. I remember reading it first when I was in junior high and I have read it many times since then. One test of a good book is that you never tire of reading it over and over.

My middle grade book idea came from what I would love to have happened to me when I was 12 years old. We all  love adventures and mysteries. And this story is an adventure every child would love to experience.

We all put a little of our lives in our stories. A character may have the same traits as you or someone in your family. Your little oddities, habits, figures of speech, snippets of your lives work their way into your manuscripts. That is one way we make them unique and special to us. That is one way to put fact into your fiction.

Other ways to get ideas are:
eavesdropping, dreams, news stories, daydreams, what ifs, wouldn't it be fun if..., if only I..., I wonder what would happen if..., If only I could..., etc.

And of course, our imagination and ability to make things up.

What makes you a writer is putting these ideas down on paper and writing until you are finished.

Never quit, never give up and have fun.

Where do you get ideas for your stories? Do you put in little snippets of personal family info into your fictional stories?

Posted by Janet F. Smart at Creative Writing in the Blackberry Patch
©Janet F. Smart


  1. Janet, I loved the 'Christy" series that was on TV several years ago. I've never read the book, though.
    You have lots of great ideas. I enjoy listening to people's stories because the possibilities are endless.

  2. Ideas are everywhere. I wish I had enough time to write them all. Mine usually end up nothing like the original thought.

  3. I have more ideas than time, Janet. They seem to grow in my head like lettuce in a garden.
    I'll be glad when my paperbacks are finished and I can get back to the fun of writing. I miss it. This busy work is hard!
    Look forward to seeing you this summer at the conference.
    Blessings to you and yours!

  4. Eavesdropping is one way to develop a character :)

  5. Janet,
    Thanks for the writing tip about getting ideas. Ideas are all around us if we keep our eyes open. Thanks for these super ideas!

  6. Ideas pop into my head often enough that I keep an idea file for these little sparks. However, not all of them have what it takes to become more than just sparks.


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