A question that someone asked me at my first book signing was, “Where do you get your ideas?” In other words, how do you write a whole book and fill it continuously with ideas?
That’s a great question because I’m sure every writer has different answers and not just one. Many of my ideas come from being awake early in the morning, but not having to get up right away, my mind throws out different ideas. Sometimes that happens in the middle of the night (which I don’t like much because it keeps me awake). A lot of times ideas come when I’m taking a shower—sometimes in a dream. I’m guessing my mind is less preoccupied with doing something else and there is a space, and being relaxed, the ideas flow.
Many writers will say ideas are character–driven. Meaning the character you create will think, speak and behave in certain ways consistent with how you imagine him or her. So you conceptualize what that person might say and it creates new pathways in your story. Then again, if you need to move away from predictability, you can imagine that character moving in a way contrary to their character. That gives you the leeway to really play with ideas.
Researching is a constant source and place to get motivation for new ideas. Perhaps you’re looking for particular culture. A ritual or belief may spark a discovery that one of your characters can utilize for action in his own culture. For example, maybe you conjure up a trip that a character makes or include a new character from another country. One idea can lead to a combination of many others.
If you are sharing your story with someone else as you progress, ask them for an idea. You might not like it, or use it, but it could help you diverge to other new avenues or convince you that your own idea is better for what you’re trying to achieve.
Creativity is something we all have. And inner artist if you will. In fact – pick up a copy of The Artists Way and read it. You’ll be amazed at what’s locked up inside.
Here’s a link to some pretty outrageous ideas that might jar you, but might be just what you need for developing more creativity: