June 28, 2010

Stories show up in the strangest of places...

I'm not really a fan of the Christian band 'Skillet', but the other day while my brother Caleb and I were doing dishes, he hooked up his iPod to my brother James' guitar amplifier (who needs surround sound?) and we were listening to Skillet's song 'Looking for Angels'. I don't even remember all of the lyrics, except for the line "Angels show up in the strangest of places."
Now Galadriel's comment on my last post has me thinking about how we writer-folk find stories in the weirdest and 'strangest of places', so I thought we might spend some time discussing the subject.
Music is where I find a lot of my ideas. Sometimes it's when I hear a song for the first time, and sometimes it's a song I've heard dozens of times that just strikes me in a new way all of a sudden.
Sometimes I find ideas in conversation. Sometimes I find them in a painting or photograph. Sometimes I find them in real-life circumstances. Sometimes they show up without prompting from any particular thing at all, as far as I can tell.
What about you? In what strange and unexpected places have you found ideas and inspiration?


  1. Dreams! A high percent of my stories come from dreams, which is why most of them are written in first person. For example, a dream about being healed with three roses on my chest turned into my NaNo novel Three Dark Roses.
    Music sometimes, but mostly dreams.

  2. Some of the weirdest things tend to inspire me. Literally. Things like...street lamps, cracked asphalt, random songs [I once lost Writers Block because I was listening to a song that I didn't even like!], posts on blogs, thunderstorms. Inspiration can be so weird sometimes!!! :-D


  3. Maps. I draw maps of strange lands, and then fill them with stories.

  4. Random lines in books often inspire me...I'm in the middle of reading Pride and Prejudice, and I don't even remember where it was, but some line in there sparked a thought that connected with a "dead" story in my brain, and now I'm working out the final details of the plot for a story that is the conglomeration of about six different story-starts. Fun, eh?
    Fairy tales are also good places to start, for me: I'll find one that I like and use it as a sort of skeleton to build off of.


What are your thoughts on this post? I'd love to hear your comments, questions, or ideas, even if you don't agree with me. Please be aware that I reserve the right to delete comments that are uncivil or vulgar, however.