Writers are always asked where their ideas come from. I’ve never been sure how to answer that. I suppose the most truthful answer is, “I have no idea.” I truly don’t. Some days I wake up with an idea in my head. Other times, I’ll be writing something and make a typo that triggers an idea. Or I see a TV show and think, I would have written it this way. That’s where fan fiction comes into play.
Then I tweak the idea until I have something good. In the case of fan fiction, I don’t worry about the characterizations in the show. If I do it right, I end up with completely different characters and decent plot. Then I just change the names and I have an original story. I just make sure my characters are far enough away from the originals and I’m good.
Sometimes, I make a typo and a character is born that suggests an adventure. Then I’m off and writing. Other times a plot springs into my head, almost fully formed. Then I scramble for characters and the story emerges. That’s what happened with my novel Moonbeam, Merlin and Murder. I thought about what it would be like if Merlin lived today and got involved in murder. It was going to be from Merlin’s point of view, but I decided he needed a familiar. Moonbeam Shadowchaser was born and took over the narration. I didn’t look back.
That’s how I get ideas. You may get yours in a different way. The point is ideas come from almost anywhere at any time. That’s why I like the memo app on my phone. I don’t have to keep a notebook and pen in my purse. I can just jot down the idea in the app and save it for later, if I’m, say shopping, or the nurse calls me back to the examination room. I’m almost never without my phone. I may not always be looking at it, but I’m often writing on it.
I often think ideas come right out of the blue. Sometimes they come too fast and too close together. So I write them down and when I’m stuck for something to write, I revisit them. A lot of times the ideas aren’t as good as I thought when I first wrote them down. I have a lot of unfinished pieces on OneDrive where I keep my work. That’s OK too. Sometimes I can get something out of them that I can incorporate into another work.
I dears are just that, ideas. They can be good. They can be bad. Write them down anyway. Sometimes the good ones don’t lead to anything while the bad ones, with a bit of tweaking turn out to be terrific. Let the ideas keep coming. If you are busy, write ‘em down. They will keep. They will be waiting for you to complete them, or leave them behind. Find one that works and you will have another adventure to play with. Have fun.