Where do you get your ideas?

‘The past is a foreign country they do things differently there.’ LP. Hartley ‘The Go-Between’

 

Beach

It’s a question that every writer hears ’where  do you get your ideas?’ At times it is tempting to say something flippant like ‘Oh I pop down to the App store and pick a few.’ But it’s not that easy.

So where do writers get ideas?  The answer is probably as individual as the writers themselves. Some writers are meticulous planners and know what they will write about. They are known as Plotters and have inciting incidents and compelling storylines at their fingertips. They have detailed plans and character profiles and timelines all prepared. At times I wish I was more like them, but I am not.

Coffe cup and notebook Pixababy Engin_Akyurt

My stories begin who knows where? Although the term Pantsers is applied to writers like me, I prefer to think I am an organic writer. One who builds as she goes, capturing a fragment of a sentence, an intriguing snippet or topic, an overheard remark or a sliver of memory.

photo-1496867557017-559adb93b339 David Zwalia

Recently, I entered a short story contest and the picture prompt didn’t initially inspire me. The trick was to let my imagination roam, to go beyond the obvious. In one story I used three incidents I knew about, things that had happened to me, or to friends. Sibling rivalry, an attempted drowning and person with mental illness.  The facts bled into the fiction, hopefully giving it an authenticity.

once-upon-a-time-719174_1280

Writing the second story I began with a fragment of memory of clearing the attic and as I wrote a long-forgotten memory surfaced. I must have been about six and we were at the beach.  My father dived in and rescued a woman who was attempting to drown herself. I remember her sobbing, with dad’s jacket placed around her shoulders. And then it’s a blank- what happened next, I have no idea.photo-Gir on stony beach Caroline hernadez

I’d forgotten about it until now, so many years later, when I fictionalised it and used it in my story. If memory chooses not to come at my call but returns unprompted it is still a valid memory. The trick is to hold on to that image, that memory, and see if more will follow.

Nowadays, I think of my past as a place to explore. I can get there from here. The route may be unfamiliar, the recall imperfect, but it is uniquely mine. Others may recall the same events, but not in the same specific way. What attracted me, what was important to me, may not have mattered to them. My stories begin here, and I realize that the things that matter to me always have.

 

 

 

Author: soniabellhouse

Sonia Bellhouse is the author of Fire & Ice, a Scandi-timeslip romance about ice dancing, Norway and Vikings. She is also a contributor to Passages, a short story anthology and a contributor to Writing the Dream, an anthology for published writers both published by Serenity Press. In 2012she won two major awards in the inaugural Rockingham Short Fiction contest. Sonia's articles and stories are published in various magazines both in Australia and the UK. These include Good reading, Today's Bride, That's Life! and That's Life! Fast Fiction in Australia and Yours, The People's Friend and Best of British in the Uk. Sonia worked as a book reviewer for two years. An avid reader and writer of multiple genres she facilitated a local book club for eleven years. She reluctantly decided to give it up, to concentrate on her writing. Sonia is a long time member of a writers group, regularly engaging authors to present workshops to the group. Sonia enjoys catching up with friends, ignoring the ironing in favour of playing with her cat and learning new things. She's taken several online courses with Future Learn and The University of Iowa for both writing and non-writing topics.

2 thoughts on “Where do you get your ideas?”

  1. A wonderful, thoughtful and lucid read. The photo’s complement
    it perfectly. Thanks for posting.

    Like

Comments are closed.

Welcome to My World

Land of my Fathers. The Land of Song, Mountains, Myths and Legends, Stunning Scenery and so much more.

valerieparv

Come play inside a writer's brain, scary!

N M Cunningham

Fiction for genre fluid readers

Sophril Reads

Books and Tea!

Sonia Bellhouse- Author.

Love Beyond Time.

Peter Wyn Mosey

Copy and Content Services

Josh Langley

- inspiring kids-

Cracker of A Christmas

For those looking forward to a Cracker of a Christmas!

How to be eighty

Living and learning at any age

Romance Writers of Australia

Promoting excellence in romantic fiction Helping writers become published and maintain strong careers Providing continuing support and development

The Never Ending Bookshelf

Where dreams are just a bookshelf away ...

Nadia L King

A writer from Perth, Australia

The First Time podcast

Part reality show, part writers' master class. A podcast about the first time you...publish a book.

Mrs B's Book Reviews

Book reviews and recommendations from a self confessed book geek

Cauldrons and Cupcakes

Celebrating Life, Spirituality, Creativity and Kindness!

Wanna be a Writer?

writing tips, information and motivation

The Little Mermaid

MAKING A DIFFERENCE, ONE STEP AT A TIME

Dr. Eric Perry’s Self-Help Blog

Motivate | Inspire | Uplift

CATHRYN HEIN

Bestselling Author of Rural Romance

%d bloggers like this: