Where Do You Get Your Ideas?

It’s interesting to hear where writers get their story ideas. My first novel was a conglomeration of a bunch of different things I liked to read. I couldn’t nail down the genre, and that’s a big part of why it ultimately didn’t work. The second one came out of a dream that wouldn’t leave me alone.

Then there’s the current novel I’m querying. I can’t pinpoint exactly where I came up with the idea, but it had something to do with two middle grade series I read last year – Lindsey Leavitt’s PRINCESS FOR HIRE series and Jacqueline West’s THE BOOKS OF ELSEWHERE. In one, the main character magically becomes different princesses, and in the other the character jumps into paintings. So I started with a question: what if you could go into a piece of music and become a character in its story? Since I play the violin myself, the character had to be a violinist.

Now it’s time for something new. A week ago I had no clue what I was going to write next. Nothing in my idea file or dream journal (I write down the crazy ones) jumped out at me. What finally gave me an idea was a conversation with some friends about their fears. One of them was pretty crazy, but I wondered if I could make a story out of it. Then I was watching an episode of “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse” with my kids, and it led to an idea for the story’s framework. I’m not going to give any more details at this point since I’m still figuring it out, but I’m excited to start something new. And it’s all thanks to a random conversation and Mickey Mouse. It’s amazing where inspiration strikes.

So I’m curious. Where do you get your ideas?

Responses to “Where Do You Get Your Ideas?”

  1. T.L. Bodine

    Pretty much all of my ideas come from two unrelated thoughts bumping together in my mind to create a “what it.” I’ll sit on that “what if” concept for a really, really long time until a character shows up to populate it. In Tagestraum’s case, the “what if” question that started the whole thing was “What if you got kidnapped by your imaginary friend?”

    • Michelle Mason

      I’m trying to figure out the character for this new one. I haven’t decided yet if it’s a boy or a girl. #TheWritersVoice has been distracting me for the past week :). I think “what if” questions are a great starting point!


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