Monday, May 17, 2010

Writing Ideas


I always get asked from my family and friends...how did you come up with that? Or, where do you get your ideas from?

It's something that, since writing my first novel, fascinates me on every level. Prior to writing my MG novel back in the spring and summer of 2007, I honestly don't think I paid such close attention to life and conversations and people in general. Don't get me wrong, I wasn't a self absorbed jerk or anything. I would wholeheartedly categorize myself in the "awesome listener" column.

But, seriously, after writing that first book it was like my brain awoke from a deep slumber, and it started hyper-listening, hyper-focusing, hyper-watching.

And I've written every interesting tidbit down. On my phone. On post-its. On notepads. I have a file of ideas. By ideas I mean snippets of real life I've either observed or overheard or experienced. Ideas I could use in a future or current writing project.

Jotting stuff down is how my YA novel about the two sixteen year old boys came about. Listening to someone talk about writing from two different main character, first person, perspectives...and wham-o, my brain jumped on the writing roller coaster at full speed, climbing and barreling and writing. And writing. I love that book.

Just a few weeks ago I was driving home from my sister Meg's house, lost in thought, when I noticed a repeated scene along the road side as it whizzed by me. The same scene over and over again the whole way home. It triggered an idea and my mind cooked up an entire MG fantasy book by the time I pulled in my driveway. I blabbed the whole book to my husband and lil'son, to which they stared back, mouths agape.

"Mom, did you read that somewhere?" lil'son asked.

"No, honey, I just thought of it."

Husband shook his head and said, "That's crazy, Kate. I mean, you're not crazy, but that's crazy."

I didn't want to admit to either of them that I honestly have like five+ novels tromping through my brain at any given moment. Each story working it's own thing out in the confines of my imagination, awaiting for its moment of release. I'm thinking they just wouldn't get it.

So, where do you get your ideas from? Do tell...