Where Do Authors Get Their Ideas From? – A writer or any creative person can get their ideas from anywhere and everywhere. It is a natural and logical question for someone who doesn’t write but for a lot of writers especially the professional ones it is a tough question to answer. The reason is that they do not know where to start with. They get ideas to write from TV, newspapers, movies, other books, dreams, any overheard conversations, nightmares, people who they have met, loved, dated, and more. But most of the time, they are perplexed about how they got their ideas.
Some writers, such as Neil Gaiman just make their ideas. They create their ideas based on their imagination and they develop them from the what-ifs and then make them more mysterious and interesting for the readers. Neil Gaiman or other writers who write about the fantasy or horror genre have to go with their imagination and inspiration from other books. But this kind of answer does not satisfy the people perhaps because the people who ask this question could not write no matter how hard they try to or they cannot imagine as good as the plot. According to Gaiman, writers are scared to answer this question because firstly, they get this question every day and they think that the ideas will stop appearing if they share them with anyone else.
Stephen King could point out 50% of where his ideas came from. King believes in the notion of the muse. His muse is a middle-aged man who lives in his basement. His muse sleeps late at night, has a cigar, comes to King’s office and that is very much it. All one has to do is focus on the muse, the way they live, they speak, their habits, and everything else about them.
A writer like Roald Dahl used to keep a book for ideas, whenever any idea came into his mind he used to just jot them down. This is perhaps the most natural thing to do that most people forget. In one of his school exercise books Dahl wrote about a Big Friendly Giant and finally at the age of 66, he wrote the complete book on BFG. In his case, there is no direct link to his inspiration but he certainly planted the plant and let it thrive and finally put them as words in his books.
Other writers like Khaled Hosseini and Suzanne Collins received ideas for their books from TV. The Kite Runner came from a TV show that Hosseini was watching, it was based on a documentary about the Taliban that banned kite flying. As for Collins, according to her, she got the idea of The Hunger Games while going through news and kid’s show late at night. According to the editor of Douglas Adams, it was essential to lock him up in a room to compel him to write.
For J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter came into her head due to a four hours delayed train. At that time she had a notebook but not a working pen so she kept the thought in her mind. J.R.R. Tolkien got the idea of Hobbit during marking exam papers and out of a whim, he wrote on the back of a paper about a Hobbit living in a hole.
So, ideas can come from anywhere, the writers can develop the thoughts and ideas that came to their minds. I am certain they have questioned their worth, if they are creative enough to write about it, will it be worthwhile, and more. Yet, they wrote it and now we all know who they are.
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Where Do Authors Get Their Ideas From?