• 02:10:10 pm on June 7, 2011 | 0
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    Generating Ideas for Your Story from the Best

    To some the ideas come to them in the dreams. Maybe they have visions of sugar plums dance behind their eyelids? Or for the rest of us unfortunate writers we have the desire to create and end up staring at the tiles on the floor thinking about how awesome someone else’s work is.

    Fear not my fellow writers because in that very thought you have all the tools you need. Someone else’s work can be your inspiration! No, I do not mean take their work and change a few words and say it’s yours. That, my darling, is stealing. I am not about stealing but about discussion. To respond to another’s work is a great compliment to them and is encouraged in many forms of educational systems. When you write a report on someone’s book it should be more than just encapsulating its contents but moving beyond the content and responding to it, expounding on it, and beyond.

    Let’s go beyond the work, shall we?

    Of course we shall! My task for you is to pick 10 stolen ideas and write them down.

    • Striking images
    • Phrases
    • Bits of dialogue

    Whatever inspires you within someone else’s work and write it down.

    Chose something that resonates with you something that leaves you feeling a strong emotion or gives you a vivid image will be your inspiration. But remember be sure to note your sources in your scratch sheets! That way when your individual idea comes to life and makes tons of paper floating in your room then you can say, “I was inspired by such and such and without them this would not be a reality today! Thank you such and such. Thank you.” As you bow before your adoring fans accepting a digital award. Well because most awards are digital these days.

    Now once you have successful written down your stolen inspiration it is time to move beyond their words and into your own. Next to each idea write a brief description of what could be used from this.

    Could you write a story based on this image? Will a character allude to another work by incorporating a line of well-known dialogue? An example of that one that is way cliché and overused is from my hero Shakespeare, “To be or not to be.” Many are inspired by her words, yes I believe he was indeed a she, and will continue to do so for longer than my days are numbered. But, my dears, please try and use some less obvious lines for your inspiration.

    Could you write an entire story on a not so main character of another work and run with an entirely new plot? Taking inspiration for your favorites is not stealing, it is conversing with the best of them.

    For instance all the tropes used today, they became tropes because people use a set guide but each person’s story is completely different. Respond to the ideas that are out there and make them your own.

    Go forth, fellow writer, and invent a new direction on an old topic. We are all just speakers adding to an existing discussion. Jump in the middle and join the dialogue.


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