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  • How do you find ideas?
    by Anna Reynolds at 11:21 on 15 March 2003
    I`d love to hear from very new writers- or not!- where they get ideas from- do they just happen, is it from true life events, personal experience, something else? do share...
  • Re: How do you find ideas?
    by Agnieszka Ryk at 10:59 on 19 March 2003
    Of course, personal feelings and events.

    However I rarely use anything from the 'political/media' world, only things I see with my own eyes. Things on the screen or in the paper have a layer of removal which for me makes them unusable. I would never, for example write about a 'famine in ethiopia', or even the war. I think there's so much you can't know about such things that you're only ever talking about it blindly.
  • Re: How do you find ideas?
    by Courtney S Hughes at 15:06 on 30 March 2003
    I get my ideas primarily from two different sources, anger and intrigue. There is a danger of being too opinionated but I guess it is all the little things that annoy me and upset me about human nature that provoke me to write. I also find inspiration in conversations with friends, an idea will grow from a point made or a question raised. I think that ‘What if’ is a valuable tool for a writers imagination. (e.g. What if Tony Blair was a Tory? – Come to think of it, that’s not a ‘what if’ is it???)

    To comment on Agnieszka's response, Is it not possible to write about the events you mention from your own perspective, although you may not 'live' an event you can still comment on it. Look back at John Osbourne.
  • Re: How do you find ideas?
    by Agnieszka Ryk at 16:20 on 30 March 2003
    Courtney - well I could write about my perspective on the war, to the extent that I see it on TV or in the paper, but I just feel that what I know as a result is at such a lower level of experience that it's pointless. Of course, I could talk about my reaction to that for example.
  • Re: How do you find ideas?
    by Agnieszka Ryk at 16:38 on 30 March 2003
    Well OK, maybe I'm just a cynic!
  • Re: How do you find ideas?
    by Anna Reynolds at 20:54 on 30 March 2003
    Whether you're a cynic or not is not for me to say!- but I do think it's a big question, can you respond in writing to something like war or do you have to have a period of reflection? also the personal experience vs. secondhand knowledge question is one that I think writers tussle with more than other artists. For instance I think filmakers quite oftyen have instant reactions that they- sometimes unwisely- commit to film... if anyone comes across good writing on this theme- plays, movies, books etc-- let us all know!
  • Re: How do you find ideas?
    by Hendrix at 16:21 on 31 March 2003
    I am not actually a "new writer" - I have been doing so for many years.
    However my natural skills of observation, curiosity and creativity drive me towards honesty and personal enlightenment; of which there is a great desire to apply these ideas and communicate them accordingly.
    My ideas come to me spontaneously - most of the time.
  • Re: How do you find ideas?
    by Tybalt at 08:48 on 04 April 2003
    My most convincing ideas come from a spontaneous reaction to personal experience or observation. I'm trying to move away from that and let more imagination in....using your left hand more is meant to help!
  • Re: How do you find ideas?
    by Jibunnessa at 17:53 on 04 April 2003
    I tend to see the world, conversations that I have, the news, whatever often in visual metaphores. And then ideas grow spontaneously from there. But, at other times, I just wake up in the morning, and I have to write before I do anything else, as I'm really excited by the texture of words flowing through my mind. Writing is exciting. And it's the fact that the unpredictable can inspire you that makes it so exciting.
  • Re: How do you find ideas?
    by Shadowgirl at 18:24 on 05 April 2003
    Interesting question. Actually, some of my book was written in my dreams. Some of the chapters came to me completely that way, and I had to write them down before I forgot them. Sometimes, the chapters may have been against my basic plan for the book, but it felt like it had to be - and so I went with my dreams. Ironically, on editting the book, the "dream chapters" have been the ones I have had to alter the least.
  • Re: How do you find ideas?
    by Jibunnessa at 12:49 on 06 April 2003
    Yes, dreams are a good source of inspiration for me too. I won't necessarily try to write out the dream. But, use ideas from it or have characters in story having a similar dream modified slightly to fit better with their life. And sometimes it's just the feelings that the dream leaves - they somehow add aroma to my thinking while I'm writing something else.
  • Re: How do you find ideas?
    by Scott at 00:34 on 15 April 2003
    I often find my ideas from day dreaming at work or listening to a song on the radio. I might listen to a funky tune that reminds me of a party that then reminds me of a funny thing, then I think how it could have been funnier then along the line what could have been funnier is nothing at all like the original funny thing it stemmed from and suddenly I have a scene for a script. This also works with sad things but big smile though.

  • Re: How do you find ideas?
    by Account Closed at 15:08 on 16 April 2003
    Ideas come from all places. Current affairs, random thought processes, bizarre conversations had while enjoying a few jars in a local with friends.

    I've always had ideas for something that could become a story, a book or a film. But until the last year or two, I've never had the capacity to properly express them. I think the imagination of any person will always allow plenty of room for ideas, but knowing how to express them is another matter.

    So, while I can attribute (should that be blame?) the ideas I have to my family, my friends, my environment, world news and even alcohol, my ability to actually commit them to words lies in the fact that I read so much. If I didn't read, I could not write.
  • Re: How do you find ideas?
    by Anna Reynolds at 20:01 on 16 April 2003
    Yes. And in every interview on this site, from authors to agents to producers to poets and all the rest, they say; Read, read, read. and, Watch, Watch, Watch. It's true.
  • Re: How do you find ideas?
    by olebut at 22:15 on 20 May 2003
    i get mine from the ether serioulsy I hear or read a phrase and think that it would make a good opening line for a poem or a good subject.

    I see something which stirs the little grey cells.

    Moonbeams was inspired by driving down Past The River Severn one dark night and I looked at the water which shone like black cold glass in the moonlight I was feeling especially morose because of circumstances which I had yet to come to terms with emotionally and the words flew from my fingers.

    Other times I have read an article in a paper or magazine which has stirred my imagination.

    I have written 6 poems about the First world war the inital inspiration came from researching my paternal grand father who I found out was killed in Francei n 1917 I worte one poem about him and the rest just sort of came.

    Love heartache, silly everyday things, the cat anything really they just seem to happen

    I am currently attending a creative writing workshop and one technique used is to be given a picture or phrase about which we have to write a piece of poetry or prose in a limited time I generally have no problem with coming up with something and it is a good stimulating excercise.

    I suppose all writing is an extension of our subconscious and our desire to explore our imagination.

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