Where do our ideas come from?

This is perhaps the one question we hear that writers/authors hate getting asked the most. But if you think about it, its a perfectly legitimate question. After all, isn’t it only natural that readers would be curious where writers get all these crazy, unique, exciting ideas from? Take, the Gone books, by Michael Grant – only someone with a wild and boundless imagination could think up a story that involves anyone over the age of 15 suddenly vanishes? Or, James Dashner’s Maze Runner trilogy in which children are made to live in mazes. There really are some crazy, unique books out there and i for one think it’s only natural to be curious where the ideas for these books came from. 

So where do they come from? J K Rowling answers that the idea for Harry Potter simply strolled into her head on a train journey, others writers use memories as inspiration or they simply see an object an it sparks an idea. If i were asked this question i wouldn’t really be able to give a definite answer. Sometimes, it can be a landscape that gets my cogs working or a piece of music. Often, an idea has just sprang into my head as if it always existed and has now decided to present itself. For Prophecy of Three the Keys of Time, though, was more of a conscious process. I wanted to write about Arthurian legend but didn’t want to set it in the past, i also wanted to write about a huge war and so, putting these things together i decided to set it in the modern world. From there the ideas just seemed to build themselves until i had a plot line worked out for all four books. 

So, where do your ideas for stories come from? Is it from your dreams, your past, the world around you? Feel free to comment below. 


About Sam Whitehouse

Sam spends most of his time in a different world to other people. If it isn’t one he’s created himself, it’s one he’s reading about. In the rare moments when this isn’t the case, Sam can either be found addicted to a sci-fi or crime show, re-watching Marvel movies, finishing up an assignment for his final year of studying Creative Writing at Sheffield Hallam University, or trying to get the dozens of ideas for stories in his head under some kind of control. Sam has lived in the same small village in Yorkshire, surrounded by countryside on all sides ever since he could remember. His childhood saw him get into plenty of scrapes climbing trees and crossing rivers and generally believing he was Indiana Jones. Sam gives credit to his Grandad for him wanting to be a writer, and his bedtime stories for keeping Sam’s imagination stoked. But credit must also go to Steven Spielberg, J K Rowling and Stephen King, who have provided plenty of inspiration over the years, too. Sam writes what he reads, and that is pretty much anything—save romance. Fantasy, thrillers, or crime: once an idea takes root, he can’t stop until the world, characters, and plot are on paper. A huge Marvel fan, Sam one day hopes to pen a screenplay for one of their movies, or direct one, or do anything at all related to one. Until then, he’ll stick to his own fantasy worlds and wait for Marvel’s phone call.

Posted on 04/19/2013, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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