Where do Writers get their ideas from?

I have been asked this time and again by many different people, both other writers and those who have never thought about picking up a pen. How do you do it? they ask, and Where do you get your ideas from? The honest answer is I don't know. Some of them pop into my head and I have to go scribbling them down before they fly off again never to return. There are a variety of stimuli that can trigger an idea and these are but a few of them:

Music: Everyone knows that listening to music can be very inspirational and when writing this is no exception. I find that when I am writing while listening to music, the words flow better. For example, if I am listening to upbeat fast paced music, the fight scenes just tumble ahead. I know it sounds a bit corny, especially when I want to write a decent love scene but this works for me. With programmes like Spotify and iTunes out there, there really is no excuse for having nothing to listen to.

Images: The old adage that every picture paints a thousand words is so true. When I am struggling with a scene or finding where to go next, browsing Google images can be really helpful. So long as I can get an image that relates to what I am working on I find it can be great when I get stuck. Pictures can also be great starting points for an idea. Find a picture that makes you think and use it to launch yourself into a new story.

Other Creatives: They don't have to be writers at all. Other creative people are familiar with the creation process and I find having someone to springboard ideas with is great for the creation process. We all see the world a bit differently and other people will look at your idea and see it from another angle. Likewise, they may come to you with an idea and use you. Connecting with other people is a great way of looking at an idea in a different light.

Sit in a crowded place: Try doing this once in a while. Go to a local coffee shop or bar, order a drink and sit there. Home in on what other people are saying and doing. Focus on how they are acting towards another and try and fit a story around what they're doing. Where are they going next? There are no limits with this and I find it is great for generating new ideas and a relief for writers block as well.

Books: Read widely. This is a great way of discovering new ideas. Read what you like and what you don't like. Read something totally different from what you'd normally read. Keep a notebook with you when you are reading and jot down what you do and don't enjoy. If an author uses a particular word for example, write it down. Just remember not to plagiarise any work or you'll find yourself in trouble.

Brainstorm: Do you remember those mind maps you made when you were in school? I find these flow charts are a great way of generating ideas. It gets your mind in the right frame for developing ideas. Write everything down that comes into your head and you may well be surprised where it ends up.

These are just a few of my favourite tips for generating ideas. The best thing you can do is observe everything, get into the habit of watching and really looking at your surroundings. There is a great big world out there and generally people get out of the habit of seeing what they consider familiar. When was the last time you went and had a good look around your neighbourhood? The park behind your house that has been there forever but you never visited is full of creative content! Getting out and looking at every day surroundings is a great start to generating new ideas. All you need to do is get out there and look.

Written by : Debbie Rushby, Hull, UK (BA Hons English 2:1)

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Edited by: Rajesh Bihani ( Find me on Google+ )

Disclaimer: The suggestions in the article(wherever applicable) are for informational purposes only. They are not intended as medical or any other type of advice