Where do writers get their ideas? Mostly blogs about this don’t really cover new ground. They talk about stealing, people watching, that kind of thing. I do that too. We all do. I also trawl the internet for prompts I like, anything that inspires me. “Plot bunnies” as some people call them. I even visit some writing forums that have “adopt me” lists and pull from what other people can’t use.
My favorite places to get ideas are what I call “snippets.” There’s probably a better word, but I’m going with it. Photos that set a spark, a person whose hair or from whom flash of blue-green in a wink leaves me desperate to write about the experience of going weak at those things. A single image can captivate me for weeks or months until I’m haunted enough to make something out of it. But mostly, I adore getting ideas from songs, usually just a line or two. When I write for a song I’ll listen to it over and over for an hour or more, whatever it takes to get the feel for the story. I’ll scribble out the lines on a notepad and see what else lives in the song. I’ll make a playlist for the story after that, let it carry me away. Typically by the time I’m done, the story has almost no resemblance to the original song except in my heart, but I know it’s there.
Speaking of inspiration, I have an image haunting me. I’ll see you guys next time!