Posts Tagged ‘Story Ideas’

Recently I mentioned that I seldom get story ideas from dreams. We authors are often asked this question. So here are some of the most common ways I actually do get story ideas.

First, let me revisit the dream/idea connection. I have gotten great story ideas from dreams. My middle grade novel Masters of Air & Fire and my novelette The Gellboar both were conceived in dreams. However, as mentioned, the dream story is often difficult to translate into a story that makes sense when you’re awake. Air & Fire started with the image of two dragons fighting and went through three completely different versions before one worked. The final book ended up being significantly different from the dream that sparked it.

Writing flows more easily when it’s based on something I hear or see. I once had a neighbor whose dog barked constantly. My son was little then, and he was scared that the dog would get out of its fenced yard. I ended up writing a children’s short story called “Moose,” where a kid had to get past a stray dog. Boys’ Life published it as “Moose on the Loose” in 2007.

Other books I read, movies I watch, and games I play can also inspire stories. I once read a Lovecraftian short story where evil trees drive people insane. (Wish I could remember the title and author, so I could credit them.) The story was totally creepy! But in the back of my mind, I was thinking, “One match would solve this whole problem.” And I ended up writing “Bonewood Forest,” which was published in Andromeda Spaceways around 2011.

My current novellas-in-progress sprang from the question, “What if Corypheus won?” (That’s a villain in a video game.) The setting immediately came to life as a dystopian fantasy where might makes right and evil mages trample the little people underfoot.

Here’s where I give you my call to action! If you’re a writer, where do you get your story ideas? Please share in the comments.

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