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Cathy C
02-13-2007, 11:41 PM
Have you ever seen a combination of words, or a title in a store that with a little tweaking becomes a fully fledged story in your mind? I seem to have it happen pretty regularly lately and I'm finding it's coming from the weirdest source---spam.

Yep, those random word generators are doing the trick. I'm not opening the emails by any means, but some of the word combinations are really grabbing my head in ways I can't explain.

Today's selection (think of a story---any story, in your genre that would fit these spammy offerings) :

stalactite ballerina
As on desperation's exit
A sailboat of warfare
ibureau

How bizarre is it that I can think of stories to go along with each of these? Think I'll have to pay a royalty to the spammer for the inspiration? :roll:

Higgins
02-13-2007, 11:47 PM
Have you ever seen a combination of words, or a title in a store that with a little tweaking becomes a fully fledged story in your mind? I seem to have it happen pretty regularly lately and I'm finding it's coming from the weirdest source---spam.

Yep, those random word generators are doing the trick. I'm not opening the emails by any means, but some of the word combinations are really grabbing my head in ways I can't explain.

Today's selection (think of a story---any story, in your genre that would fit these spammy offerings) :

stalactite ballerina
As on desperation's exit
A sailboat of warfare
ibureau

How bizarre is it that I can think of stories to go along with each of these? Think I'll have to pay a royalty to the spammer for the inspiration? :roll:

Gad. I had problems not hurting myself with the laughs this triggered.
I guess the infinite monkeys typing for infinity are nowhere near as good as a spam generator.

Pomegranate
02-14-2007, 12:12 AM
I'm always writing down those wacky spam headers to use as prompts with my writing practice group. We've gotten some fun pieces from them.

My favorite wierd source is my husband. ;-) Once he was telling me about some stuff he was going to buy for his computer. A phrase clicked in my head and popped out a story. I said "hold that thought!" ran to my mac and banged out about 2000 words. He stood in the doorway for a while shaking his head at "his crazy writer."

kristie911
02-14-2007, 01:42 AM
I never thought of that! But you're right, Cathy, those could be great starters for stories.

My inspirations generally come from places. A rundown house, a beautiful lodge, anything like that. Maybe I need to pay more attention to my spam! :)

MidnightMuse
02-14-2007, 02:02 AM
I have yet to use a Spam header, but . . . Often I'll hear a song, and one line from that song will spark an entire story idea that will stick in my head until I can flesh it out completely.

Other times -- and this happens quite often -- I'll be people watching somewhere, see a hot guy walk by, start daydreaming about what his life might be like, and off I go.

Or sometimes I'll hear the oddest thing out of the blue, like Vengeful Butterflies, and here comes a story. Or I'll be singing in the car, get the lyrics wrong, and there's another one.

Or, while bored and waiting in line or for the car's oil change or what have you, I'll ask myself stupid questions like: What would happen if a Yak walked in, poured himself a cup of coffee and whipped out his cell phone? How would people react? What would the headlines read?

Don't even get me started on what a walk on the beach will do ! :D

engmajor2005
02-14-2007, 03:58 AM
I have ideas hit me out of nowhere, so I have to carry around a little notebook to write them down. The weirdest thing to ever hit me...I don't know. I'll have to get back to you.

Mud Dauber
02-14-2007, 04:03 AM
I have yet to use a Spam header, but . . . Often I'll hear a song, and one line from that song will spark an entire story idea that will stick in my head until I can flesh it out completely.
Happens to me all the time!
Fascinating, how the mind works, isn't it?:popcorn: I wasn't a member here when the movie came out, but did you guys see Stranger Than Fiction? I thought that was the coolest scene when Emma Thompson spotted the Granny Smith apple rolling in the street and then she was finally off and running with her ending. Truly, a writer's moment.

Btw, I like how "As on desperation's exit" sounds. Hmm...:e2BIC:

TheIT
02-14-2007, 04:04 AM
For sculpting, I figured out how to make dragon wings from seeing a fancy paper clip in an office supply store.

For writing, I came up with my main character while folding laundry. I was watching a show with my favorite actor and wondered what my character would be like if that actor played him. The rest is history....

Gabriel
02-14-2007, 09:08 AM
I once went 3 days with no sleep and was on the verge of collapse when I saw a hard boiled egg and came up with the idea; Yolk Mchardshell, a hard boiled detective with nothing to lose. The title was going to be "Baked beans, murder and a plate full of soldiers.

A good nights sleep and soberity cleared that up.

PeeDee
02-14-2007, 10:24 AM
A piece of spam led to the thread "To carouse as to moisten" here on AW. If I had called a story that, I could have explored the heretofore unseen worlds of erotica story markets...

Let's see what's in my spam box now that I could use...

"are notch my send"

"Is at obdurate"

"MAILER DAEMON - failure notice"

"Go on retch"

and finally, the best of all,

"He managua in markovian"

Susan Lanigan
02-14-2007, 04:53 PM
Often a piece of music will drive a story. I was in the middle of one that had been fired by hearing a very sick joke/idea. In the middle of it, I heard the Cantique de Jean Racine by Faure and that totally took over the story.

jodiodi
02-14-2007, 06:07 PM
"MAILER DAEMON - failure notice"

I've always liked the Mailer Daemon myself. I just picture it in hell randomly snatching e-mails.

Cathy C
02-14-2007, 07:29 PM
LOL! That reminds me that an entire horror story idea came from an a single sentence from an editor at a workshop at World Fantasy last year. Wish I could talk about it, but I still plan to sell the story to the editor on the panel who mentioned it... ;)

Ooo! But I'll share today's offerings in the spam box. Feel free to use these subject lines as you see fit!

But eyeball go ethanol
My bookish delicatessen
The portlet doth weigh heavy

:ROFL:

jodiodi
02-14-2007, 08:40 PM
"My bookish delicatessen"

You know, that'd make a great name for a place that was a combo deli/sandwich shop and bookstore with wifi and such. I can picture it in my mind now. I may use that. Thank you.

tjwriter
02-14-2007, 09:47 PM
I was thinking the same kinda thing, jodiodi!

I was listening to Christmas carols and got this snippet:

"This is a N.O.E.L. post office, sonny. That's No Old Elvish Letters. You'll either have to translate it or go to different post office."

At any rate, I have some ideas for humorous fantasy now.

TrainofThought
02-14-2007, 11:10 PM
Ideas come to me at odd times, vague in nature, so I wind up forgetting the story.

One night at a bar I was reading the graffiti on the stall walls. A story started forming from the random markings, but after several drinks and hours later, I forgot it. Some day Iíll remember.

Cat Scratch
02-14-2007, 11:25 PM
I wrote an entire book based on a moment when I realized a co-worker had stapled the hem of his pants.

Dixie
02-15-2007, 07:25 AM
ALot of my aha! moments are those when I lie in bed half awake in the darkness and my mind just starts going different directions. Other times I find I can generate some stories from watching people or from getting to know people more and I think - yeah this would be interesting to know these people are dealing with this situation. Sadly, I have yet to put anything down on paper.

heatherleacubs
02-15-2007, 07:57 AM
ALot of my aha! moments are those when I lie in bed half awake in the darkness and my mind just starts going different directions.

That happens to me all the time, too. I tell myself that I'll remember it in the morning, just go to sleep, 4 am comes far too early....Yeah. Nine times out of ten the idea keeps me up all night. Pffft. Sleep isn't relevant, is it? :)

Dixie
02-15-2007, 08:30 PM
Not usually. One of these days I'll buy me a nice journal to put in my nightstand and keep it there for those moments when I get an idea that I think could work.

Provrb1810meggy
02-15-2007, 08:51 PM
Yesterday, the words "thick skin" popped into my mind, and from there, I got a whole plot. Yay!

AnneMarble
02-15-2007, 11:58 PM
I got an idea for a fantasy story from a character I liked on the soap opera Passions. The character (who was villainous but cowardly and played mostly for laughs at that time) gave me an idea for a sort of Scarlet Pimpernel character. Since then, the Passions character's role has changed a couple of times, and he is now more villainous. (Villainous but idiotic was more fun. :D)