If you’ve ever seen an author interviewed I can almost guarantee one question they will be asked. They will be asked: ‘Where do you get your ideas?’
I can’t seem to find a source for this but one answer I’ve come across is: ‘The problem is not coming up with ideas – the problem is making them stop!’
While this is not a problem I’ve had in abundance it certainly something to which I can relate. With so much going on from articles, anecdotes, Facebook status, and even mash-ups the possibilities are endless. That last one is of particular interest as a pitch for a new idea is ofter couched as a connection between two already awesome things: It’s Star Trek meets Buffy the Vampire Slayer – for instance.
When I see something interesting I bookmark it. I’ve got lots of bookmarked tabs with little snippets of things. Some might become short stories, some blog posts, and some as little more than just showing you that they exist.
Of course there are still times when the ideas don’t flow. This seems just ridiculous when you consider that the internet gives us access to the sum of all human knowledge.
Generally though ideas are easy. This brings me to another point. Ideas do not make a film (or novel ect)…
Some people seem to reckon that having an idea is doing most of the work. They tell you the idea and expect equal credit in making into an idea. They are wrong. They are very wrong.
While ideas for stories are always welcome they are a small part of the creative process. Take ER for instance. The premise of that show is simple. We can explore the doings of: doctors, nurses, administration staff, and the rest. We also have the opportunity to have episodic stories as patient’s lives intersect with the hospital.
To write the story…
I would need to know about: hearts, livers, kidneys, lungs, arms, legs, heads, brains, hospital procedures, legal procedures, administrative procedures, stethoscopes, recovery times, cancer, emphysema, measles, meningitis, hospital acronyms, and exactly what it would look like having your arm severed by a helicopter – must be why they call them choppers.
Yes, ideas are nice but they are only the beginning.