Where do Writing Ideas Come From?

The question I’ve been asked the most since beginning to write for the public eye is “Where do you get your ideas?”

To be honest, I don’t know.
But I know why people ask me that.

When I started writing I would buy books like this one or this one. Don’t get me wrong- they could get my creative juices going! But it wasn’t enough. How could I be creative without anyone else influencing me? The answer?

I can’t.
You can’t.
Nobody can write a story without another person because you can’t write about life if you don’t experience it.  So if you’re stuck with no ideas as to what you can write, then write about yourself.

Write about your first kiss and change the names. Then rewrite what happened after that. If you’ve never been kissed, write about the people you’ve wanted to kiss and change the ending. If you don’t want to be kissed, write about the repulsion you feel when other people talk about kissing.

Turn your life into a story with a different name, and even a different ending- if you can’t write your own story, how can you possibly write someone else’s?

A seasoned writer knows that ideas are everywhere, but they also know that ideas are nowhere. There’s only one easy way to write a story: you put one word in front of the other.

Now, if you want ideas from outside of your life- if you’re ready to write about someone else, that is- then I would recommend filling out a character questionnaire. I have one available for free download here on my blog.

Questionnaires are useful because not only do they help you understand your character better, but they have a way of helping you develop a story. The more you know about your protagonist, the more ideas you get for writing a story. Backstory pushes forward the plotline and you can’t help but write.


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