Saturday, March 12, 2011

Where Do Ideas Comes From?

I used to do a talk show called Romance Review. I interviewed romance authors on the internet. It was a blast. I talked to people all over the country, listened to their success stories, etc. But I remember my very first interview with Stella Cameron and one particular question that she told me NOT to ask.

Of course, being me, that meant I did. It was 'Where Do Your Ideas Come From?'. Poor Stella. She groaned and tried to feign answering. But since I'd known her for many years and am a Pitbull in disguise, I gave her a chance to catch her breath and asked the same question, slightly altered. More groans. But she relented and went on to explain that it was one of the most often asked questions her readers wanted to know.

Personally, I think readers are intrigued about something we take for granted--our creativity.

Stella finally told me her ideas came from everywhere--the newspaper, television, talking to friends. She'd hear something and twist it into a story. As a best-selling author, she's doing something right.

My own story about ideas came out of workshop that Stella was giving. I can't remember what she said, but like a bolt of lightning I got this idea. It took my breath away. I scribbled down the idea and then it stew for a while. Eventually I wrote the story. Actually got an agent when she read it. She sent it out to ten publishers, mostly rejections, but a couple of times it made it all the way to marketing. Eventually it got nixed.

The important thing here is that the idea came out-of-the-blue and I played the what if game to create something worthwhile.

What about you? Where do your ideas come from? What's your story?


  1. I think writers don't think a great deal about where the ideas come from. I mean, they are everywhere, it's just a matter of recognizing them. I've spoken to my mom and sister about this when they ask where I got 'that' idea.

    And they look blankly at me, just astounded that my mind works that way.

    I find myself wondering if it's like taste buds. Wine experts can ascertain so much from one sip, while I am a total blank with wine. Finding and recognizing ideas seems to be something you figure out, or you don't!

  2. Thanks for the input. Love your descriptions of taste buds, Maureen.

  3. I've just finished reading Stephen King's book about horror stories, Danse Macabre, and he talked about where he got the idea for The Stand. He'd started trying to write a book about Patty Hearst, then there was a biological weapons accident in Utah on the news, and there was a big to-do going on about the Middle East and the environment and the economy...and 1,200 pages later, he had this big honking apocalyptic novel. I think we pull a shred of idea here and there and at some point, our brains weave them all together.