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View Full Version : What are the weirdest places/ times you get your ideas for your novel



Angel_Lorena26
02-09-2009, 11:09 AM
Here is a question that I think has never been asked and if it has well them I am sorry. But I was wondering if any writers have suddenly been hit with ideas for your novels in the most oddest places or times? I was in both Borders and Barnes and Noble looking for Sherrilyn Kenyons first book. I swear in both places I was being bombared by ideas for my second book and a possible third book . It is the weirdest thing because it always happens like that. Of course at the time I didn't have a pen or paper to write it down wish I did though seeing my memory isn't the best.

ragefaith
02-09-2009, 01:38 PM
I get my ideas at all sorts of impractical times - in the shower, in class, before bed, doing dishes, etc.

Mumut
02-09-2009, 02:16 PM
I get a huge number of ideas when I'm doing boring things and often when I can't possibly write anything down. One of my favourite places is hanging clothes on the line. A different situation completely is when I re-read my work after a break.

KTC
02-09-2009, 02:19 PM
Oh yes, this question has been asked many times. But it's a question people like to answer.

I occasionally get mine when I'm sleeping, which is pretty annoying. I wake up with the idea whole and fresh and vivid. If I don't get it down on paper fast, it's lost.

I also get a lot of ideas while I'm driving...you spent a lot of head-space time while driving, so it's bound to happen.

tailstrike
02-09-2009, 02:43 PM
I get my ideas and random pieces of writing when im doing 'automatic' things ie cleaning, showering, dishes, driving is a big one, mowing the lawn...Although studies show that this might be because you are most relaxed doing things you do without thinking...

MetalDog
02-09-2009, 02:57 PM
The oddest times tend to be when a floating, partnerless idea finds another idea to mate with. So you're going along all lalalala, in the middle of a conversation, or a supermarket, or doing your day job and someone says something, or something catches your eye and every other thought gets blown clean out of your head by two notions colliding.

It's at its most annoying when it happens mid-conversation, because the other person is still talking and you're trying to pretend you're still listening when really you're running around your own head with a staple gun trying to make sure it doesn't get away.

Wayne K
02-09-2009, 03:47 PM
It hits me when it hits me, but I do need to write it down immediately. It's a good thing I don't write erotica, or I'd be divorced.

brainstorm77
02-09-2009, 04:24 PM
My dreams usually.

Mr Flibble
02-09-2009, 04:33 PM
I once got an idea for a love scene while reading about a zombie blowing maggots out of its nose. No, no maggots in the love scene.

This maybe should go in the weird confessions thread...

scarletpeaches
02-09-2009, 04:34 PM
Whenever I'm doing something completely unconnected to writing. Most inconvenient.

Greenify13
02-09-2009, 04:59 PM
Weirdest time would have to be when I was changing a diaper (I know, competely weird). Don't worry it had nothing to do with diapers. Mostly I get my ideas while laying in bed, I spend a lot of time watching the time on the ceiling, so most of it comes then. Best time was when I was laying there, and an entire poem came to me. I had to jump out of bed and go write it down! But this happens a lot with my poems, which is a very good thing, they say "never go to bed angry". I lay there pissed-off, write a poem-calm down, and eventually sleep in a better mood then before....

scarletpeaches
02-09-2009, 05:46 PM
I just realised. My last post might have sounded like I was talking about the bathroom. :eek: I didn't mean that! I just meant, whenever I'm doing something unconnected to writing like...washing the dishes or if I'm at the pub, that's when I think of a story idea.

seun
02-09-2009, 05:59 PM
I get a lot of ideas just as I'm falling asleep. It's often the case the ones I remember in the morning are complete crap.

RJK
02-09-2009, 06:00 PM
The creative (right) side of your brain is non-verbal and is overwhelmed by all the words being used by the left hemisphere. Only when you turn off the left side, do you give the right side a chance to speak up. Doing simple tasks, going for a walk, driving a car (not in heavy traffic), washing dishes, taking a shower, soaking in the tub, all those things where you're not tasking you left hemisphere, allow your right hemisphere to dominate for a few seconds and let you know what it's been thinking about.
If you stop and write down what the idea was, the left hemisphere takes over again and you may lose the rest of the thought. Let the idea play itself out, then take notes later.

MetalDog
02-09-2009, 06:01 PM
Having ideas when you're on the john is almost obligatory, isn't it?

tehuti88
02-09-2009, 06:47 PM
I'm sure I've gotten ideas at some weird places and times. Unfortunately, I usually don't remember such things since I don't tend to take note of the exact moment I get an idea. I spend so much time developing my ideas that eventually, it's like they've always been there. I can think of only a very few times when I remember what sparked a specific idea. Often it happens during my reading.

The basic idea behind my main fantasy storyline now came to me years ago after my best friend and I visited a sort of funhouse ("Haunted Theater") on Mackinac Island and enjoyed the displays, a few of them based on local Ojibwa mythology. We went home and started working on a story based on the displays...the rest is history.

ChaosTitan
02-09-2009, 07:09 PM
Taking a shower or driving are when I do a lot of my best thinking. Also just as I'm falling asleep. All of them are seriously inconvenient, but they are when my mind is usually free to just think about stuff. I've also gotten some cool ideas while waiting in lines at amusement parks. And just last night I got a hit while answering a post on a livejournal group. :)

cbenoi1
02-09-2009, 09:25 PM
> If I don't get it down on paper fast, it's lost.

My MP3 player can be used as a voice recorder. Very handy.

-cb

semilargeintestine
02-09-2009, 09:35 PM
Dreams and daydreams mostly, but sometimes they'll pop out of no where when I'm involved in something. When I remember my dreams, they're usually very vivid and strange; most are too nonsensical to turn into anything, but I can usually find something to use.

Inky
02-09-2009, 09:52 PM
Liiiike, when I'm about to gleefully ram my car into the jackass Audi in front of me on the Autobahn, or when I'm teaching my husband endurance by holding his head under water.

*shrug*

And, of course, during these times of fabulous brain activity, I'm a million miles away from pen and paper so have to hope memory lasts beyond the next billboard screaming there's a sale at Crate&Barrel.com

KikiteNeko
02-09-2009, 09:57 PM
I keep a piece of paper taped to my steering wheel.

quickWit
02-09-2009, 10:23 PM
or when I'm teaching my husband endurance by holding his head under water.


I keep a piece of paper taped to my steering wheel.

Inky should keep one taped to the back of her husband's head.

Inky
02-09-2009, 10:28 PM
I keep a piece of paper taped to my steering wheel.
You the one drivin' the Audi, wench? :tongue


Inky should keep one taped to the back of her husband's head.
:e2tongue:

Red_Dahlia
02-09-2009, 10:38 PM
I usually get mine when I'm doing chores or on long road trips (10 hour drives are great motivators for the subconscious). I also get a few from my dreams.



It's at its most annoying when it happens mid-conversation, because the other person is still talking and you're trying to pretend you're still listening when really you're running around your own head with a staple gun trying to make sure it doesn't get away.

I hate it when this happens! I'm apparently not very good at hiding the fact that my mind has gone elsewhere, and tend to stop talking mid-sentence.

KikiteNeko
02-09-2009, 11:19 PM
You the one drivin' the Audi, wench? :tongue


:e2tongue:


lol. I drive a buick.

Inky
02-09-2009, 11:40 PM
Ah, bloody 'ell. Tha' ain't no car...that's a highway TANK!
Ye' keep tha' metal clog stomper away from mi' easily-crunchable Volvo!






Yeah, I drive a prissy car, AND??? :e2tongue:

Metaphor
02-09-2009, 11:47 PM
I get my idea-flashes when I'm in the shower, trying to sleep, mowing the field on the tractor, or playing piano. All of those are times when I'm doing something that requires little thought, something that I do on autopilot. That leaves me with plenty of thinking-time.

deserata
02-10-2009, 12:21 AM
I get ideas during studio classes or walking around on campus or even seeing a movie at the theater.

Mostly, places where I can't just stop and scribble it down. So I turn it over and over in my head to keep from forgetting.

sunandshadow
02-10-2009, 12:22 AM
I always get ideas in bookstores, laying in bed or on a reclining chair in the dark; I also often get ideas when I am a passenger in a car or at a restaurant or while watching anime.

selenawemiss
02-10-2009, 05:52 AM
I tend to daydream a lot whenever I'm not listing to music. (It's very rare to catch me not listing to music anymore because I'm home schooled and I listen to it 24/7) I normally day dream when I was in public school like in math because I got bored a lot and I would think about something and I would have a idea for one of my stories come up.

Pagey's_Girl
02-10-2009, 06:14 AM
I get a lot of ideas when I'm working on jewelry. Which explains some of the half-finished necklaces in my stash.

Spell-it-out
02-10-2009, 04:02 PM
I was walking home from work in South Boston last year, spotted a plane landing in Logan Airport, twenty minutes later I was starting a story about an Alien invasion.

Must have been the sea air.........

Ken
02-10-2009, 04:49 PM
...sometimes when I'm in some public place as a supermarket with people about staring at me like I'm on drugs as I stand stock still and completely tune out to my surroundings and focus inwardly on the idea that's occured to me, until the cashier saying, "Sir. Sir!!!" finally brings me back.

TheRightEyedDeer
02-11-2009, 04:52 AM
I tend to get my best ideas when someone's in the middle of talking to me.

"Hold that thought, willya? I've just got to scribble down this stellar idea I've just had for a story ...







Right. What were you talking to me about?"

Horserider
02-11-2009, 05:36 AM
Most of my ideas either came to me during class or when I'm trying to go to bed. Reason I have a notebook with me all the time during school and by my bed. A special notebook for taking story notes.

The idea for Andra came from a dream I had. It stuck with me for several months and nagged me to be written. Then last November I sat down and just wrote like mad.

Darzian
02-11-2009, 05:42 AM
I often sit down on my bed to think up ideas.

I also try to think of ideas before dropping off to sleep.

Doesn't work most of the time.
I typically get ideas when I'm writing. As I write along, the next bits fall into place. I'm generally a long term planner and this is most inconvenient. But, hey, what works, works.

Nivarion
02-11-2009, 09:18 AM
i get them in the most inconvenient place of all. my dreams.

yall know how many dreams a person remembers? i remember waking up going wow that would make an awesome story! jumping out of bed booting the computer then getting to it and being like.

Now how did that go again?

soapdish
02-11-2009, 09:22 AM
ALWAYS when I am blow drying my hair. Something about the warm air blowing all over my face and head really gets the blood moving and the ideas too. But of course my hands aren't free, so I do a lot of stop and start--and keep a journal in the bathroom. :)

Rarri
02-11-2009, 07:37 PM
Recently, most of my ideas have come when i'm getting my son to bed. I sit beside his cotbed reading him Harry Potter and then end up thinking through ideas while i'm reading too him. Most annoying, i just hope he goes to sleep quickly so i can scoot downstairs and type everything out.

Storm Dream
02-11-2009, 10:02 PM
Sitting in traffic on the freeway, staring at the scarlet glow of brake lights.

Also, the shower.

The weirdest place I ever got an idea was at a birthday dinner for a friend of mine. We were at a fancy Italian restaurant with 20+ drunk people and there I was, stealing napkins to scribble on them. Not one of my better moments. :)

Tia
02-12-2009, 04:09 AM
The ideas come to me when I'm doing anything, except thinking about writing itself, that can be an inconveinience of course, no paper, or blackberry to jot it down on. I have the worst memory ever too.

Empress_Isis
02-12-2009, 05:00 AM
I find that inspriation strikes anywhere and everywhere! I definitely dream a lot of stupid things, like driving a convertible into outer space and stuff, but some of my dreams have converted to good story ideas. In particular, there was a period where I was dreaming about the end of the world every night, for about 6 weeks, so I had some good apocalypse ideas from that. I also find that my brain is able to work out plot hole problems as I'm lying in bed about to go to sleep. Which is great for the plot holes, but not so great for my beauty sleep!

I walk around in a bit of a daze most of the time, and I'm always trying to connect what I see with something from one of my projects. I once built an entire city in my head out of some stones that were set in the gutter outside of my sister's house.

Also, reading books and watching movies helps a lot. The shower is a good place. Yeah, as I said, I find ispiration anywhere!

firedrake
02-12-2009, 05:14 AM
It's usually the line of a song that sets me off. As I tend to listen to music in the car or at work, that's when I get hit.

The idea for the one I'm about to start sending out came when I was in the car, picking my son up, listening to Eva Cassidy's version of 'Fields of Gold' and, in particular, the line "Feel her body rise as you kiss her mouth, among the fields of gold."

110,000 words later, I have a completed novel.:D

Miss.Stefani
02-12-2009, 07:50 AM
I've gotten quite a few ideas while at school. And I got one while staring out the window, spacing out, on the way up to a mountain pass to play in the snow.

I don't remember when I've gotten the rest, though.

Fox The Cave
02-14-2009, 12:17 AM
I'm surprised no one has said LSD yet...

Fulk
02-14-2009, 02:43 AM
Most of my ideas show up at the times I can't write them down--in the shower, in the car, when I'm working, etc.

Matera the Mad
02-14-2009, 08:02 AM
Standing by the fryer in Taco Hell

Romantic Heretic
02-14-2009, 05:26 PM
I don't know if it's weird but I most clearly remember where I got an idea for one story I wrote.

I was working as a janitor in an arts complex here in Toronto, a place called The Distillery. I walked into on of the galleries there and saw this painting.

http://www.jtwinik.com/galleries/availGallery2/avail2Images/16LightHWseriesL.jpg

I started to wonder about the woman in the picture. And that grew into a story. It's in my latest e-book. :)

darkchild
02-17-2009, 04:30 AM
The oddest place I've ever written? the closet. I don't have anybody nagging me and breathing over my neck while i'm in the middle of trying to find the best way to kill off one of my characters. No one ever suspects on is writing in a closet...

Prosthetic Foreheads
02-17-2009, 09:42 PM
When I least expect them.

Zipotes
02-17-2009, 11:50 PM
While sleeping or half asleep in bed. I've lost some great ideas assuming I'd remember them in the morning. Now, I jot things down on paper beside my bed.

cooeedownunder
02-18-2009, 12:52 AM
In the bath or when I really need to go to bed early.

CarnalPIE
02-18-2009, 06:46 AM
Probably the weirdest place I got an idea was while trying to talk a cop out of getting me a speeding ticket. NOT a time you want your mind to wander. But this moron happened to be walking past staring at us just grinning like a coke fiend and that gave me a great idea for a story. It was worth the ticket.


It's at its most annoying when it happens mid-conversation, because the other person is still talking and you're trying to pretend you're still listening when really you're running around your own head with a staple gun trying to make sure it doesn't get away.

LMFAO! Every well put!


I just realised. My last post might have sounded like I was talking about the bathroom. :eek: I didn't mean that!

Good thing too because people only get crappy ideas in the bathroom.

...

Yeah, I hate myself right now. :tongue


I tend to get my best ideas when someone's in the middle of talking to me.

"Hold that thought, willya? I've just got to scribble down this stellar idea I've just had for a story ...

Right. What were you talking to me about?"

THIS is why normal people hate us writers.


Standing by the fryer in Taco Hell

LMFAO I once got an undercooked burrito from there so it was probably a day dreaming writer.

Sary
02-18-2009, 03:51 PM
The idea for my last story came to me when one of my students did something hilareous that was technically misbehaving. So I'm standing there trying to keep a straight face, and a stern face, while holding back laughter and mentally attempting to capture the idea bouncing just out of reach, all the while verbally correcting my student.

nitaworm
02-19-2009, 01:44 AM
At work, when I don't want to be there. I make up stories in my mind. Other places are, at a traffic light. I day dream when a light takes a long time to turn green.

MelodyO
02-19-2009, 02:30 AM
While having sex. I think it's because I'm finally not thinking about work and the kids and various life problems - and BAM! Here comes a plot twist. :tongue

Fade
02-19-2009, 05:07 AM
My dreams usually.

Me, too! Of course, my dreams are very, very strange. Like once I dreamed that the entire trumpet section of our band was being brought to a room where we'd have aliens put in our heads because the first chair bad mouthed a basket ball player. Very weird. I wrote down the entire thing the moment I woke up.

The other places I get ideas are in passing periods (very annoying), on a bike ride, and while listening to music.

DMarie84
02-19-2009, 08:20 AM
Normally it's in the shower. That's where most of my plot twists come from...as well as major character developments. Oh and great lines of dialogue--those happen nearly every time.

Too bad I'm not always able to keep the thought fresh in my head. By the time I get out, dry off and reach for the paper, the "spark" is gone.

Some of the other places I get ideas are church (and out the notebook comes during the sermon only I'm writing story ideas...bad, I know but I can't help when the ideas come) and in the car.