“We pass a thousand story ideas every day. Writers see a dozen, most people see none.”
Ever wonder why writers constantly use the cliché – ideas are everywhere? And ever wonder why you don’t see them?
Maybe another famous line will make it clear to you, “Seek and you will find.”
Writers are Active Seekers
Writers don’t sit back and wait for inspiration. They actively seek them. They hunt down ideas and then work hard at developing them into entertaining stories.
Roald Dahl got his idea for the chocolate factory from his school days, when a chocolate company gave sample chocolates to his class. And the character of the grandmother from “The Witches” was based on his own mother.
Friends, family, neighbors, pets, books, stories, TV, newspaper, our experiences, others’ experiences, conversations, dreams, nightmares – almost anything can provide inspiration for a story. If you truly want to be a writer, learn to keep your antenna constantly tuned to pick up on a story idea. Keeping yourself open to the possibility is the key to finding that big story idea.
Writers go beyond the obvious
Another trick many writers use when stuck for ideas is to ask the simple questions that could seed a new story idea.
(What if you could talk to animals? What if you had a mouse as a brother? What if you worked in a chocolate factory?)
(If only you studied in a school for magic …, If only you were a dragon-rider ….., If only you had a magic carpet….)
(I wonder if the toys come alive at night…, I wonder if that nasty neighbor is really a witch….., I wonder if I could learn to read people’s minds…)
Intriguing ideas, a million possibilities. Any or all of them contain the potential for a story or even a book.
Writers build on ideas
Once they have the idea, writers go through the grind of converting ideas into stories. A story is born from the process of putting one word after another, of writing and rewriting till you get it just right. Till you have created something new and something interesting.
This is what Roald Dahl had to do to turn out those famous books.
‘He would go into his writing hut in the morning and would sharpen six pencils with an electric pencil sharpener. He would say when all six needed sharpening again, he knew he’d been writing for about two hours. After a short break, he would repeat the process in the afternoon.”
Get the idea?!! Well, go ahead and write it down. That’s how a writer is born.