Monday, April 22, 2013

How to Find an Idea

Happy Monday, good people of the blogosphere! Well, the weekend is behind us, and we're moving into one heck of a work week. Mine is really full of work coming at me from INDIE Books Gone Wild. Formatting for print is among the top of those to-dos for this week. What fun! But I'd like to take a moment today and talk with you all about creating that next great book. Where do you come up with an idea? Following are some great exercises you can do to get those creative juices flowing. So, grab your pens and notebooks and let's get going!

By the way, this is part of the class I give over on IBGW for writers. If you're interested, check out the page and then fill out the form. It's a ton of fun and you even get a set of books no writer should be without.

  1. You've all heard me go on and on about writing a story based on what you're passionate about. Well, that's exercise one. You can look into the social opinions of others and form your own. This can lead to a great idea for a story. Look at The Hunger Games. What's she writing about, really? Government control of a people and breaking free from tyranny. You can see the author's strong opinions about this issue within the story. She probably thought about a world that could exist at some point and then went on to another exercise, asking what if.
  2. Exercise two is all about taking a known situation and asking what if. Read the paper, watch television, or observe people in action all around you and ask that question. Make a list and let it rest for a couple of days. When you return, you'll see it teeming with ideas.
  3. Listen to music. Hear the lyrics and think about what the singer is saying. Enter Sandman by Metallica could bring out a great novel, right? Write down some ideas about the situations in the songs. Just make sure your music is related to the genre you prefer to write.
  4. For the next one, create a character. Loosely base them on someone you know and then add a splash of yourself to them. After that, you can turn them any way you see fit. Sometimes, a dynamic and original character is all you need. Close your eyes and write down the particulars of the first person that pops into your head. Flesh them out. Give them a journey.
  5. Mind map. You remember when I talked about creating blog posts from a mind map? You start with one topic and branch things off from there. By the time you get to the fourth or fifth spoke, you'll have a ton of ideas.

And there's a few ways you can come up with story/plot ideas when you're stuck. I do a couple of these exercises about once a week. Because of that, I have a folder on my laptop with one or two chapters of some really cool ideas. Will all of them ever be published? I doubt it. But some of them will. Either way, my idea is there in word form and I can reference it at any time.

What exercises do you partake in?

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!



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