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Time Management

Stories are Everywhere

I’m always slightly amused when I read interviews with writers and they’re asked where do you get your ideas? I’m a firm believer that the more one flexes one’s creative muscle, the stronger it gets. The more open I am to ideas for stories, the more ideas just seem to fall into my lap.

Photo credit: Kamil Cielinski

Photo credit: Kamil Cielinski

One of my favourite sources of inspiration is the stream of news headlines we’re exposed to every day. The saying you couldn’t make this stuff up seems to hold truer than ever. In the last few weeks we’ve been treated to fabulous “writing prompts” such as:

I could go on, but I won’t. You get the idea: once you’re open to story prompts, the world we inhabit is such an amazing source of real-life inspiration, the only problem is finding the time to get all these stories down.

If you write, where do you get most of your ideas?
And as a reader, do you enjoy stories based loosely around real life?

I’m linking this post to the wonderful Fiction Writers blog hop hosted every month by Julie Valerie. Click here to return to the hop!


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11 Comment

  1. Reply
    cassandra piat
    August 26, 2015 at 2:46 am

    I agree with you completely. There are so many things that we can be inspired by every day just by looking at headlines on the internet and media in general. I hate watching the news because there’s just too much suffering and horrible things in it, so when I read I don’t want too much real life thrown at me. I want a bit of real life so that I can relate to it, but I want it a bit fantasy too so that all goes well in the end!! I want to dream but in a realistic way 🙂 Does that even make sense?? As I writer, I like to use real life situations as a source of inspiration but then I love that I can do whatever I want with the idea and make it into whatever I want it to be. Thanks for the great post 🙂

  2. Reply
    Sandie Docker
    August 26, 2015 at 6:12 am

    Eavesdropping on conversations, images and people you pass in the street, a song lyric…story ideas are everywhere. My favourite quote about this is…
    “Everybody walks past 1,000 story ideas every day. The good writers are the ones who see five or six of them” – Orson Scott Card

    1. Reply
      Pauline
      August 26, 2015 at 7:29 am

      Sandie, that’s a terrific quote – thank you! And yes, eavesdropping can be gripping stuff, too.

  3. Reply
    Brea Brown
    August 26, 2015 at 8:12 am

    I’m a people watcher and an eavesdropper. I also like to ask “What if…?” about everything. Some of the situations I find myself in every day are pretty decent fodder, too, once they’re jazzed up a little. I have a propensity for experiencing the absurd.

  4. Reply
    Meredith Schorr
    August 26, 2015 at 8:33 am

    Great post. And great ideas! In full disclosure, almost all of my ideas come at least a little bit from my own life. The inspiration, at least, and I take the rest from there.

  5. Reply
    Jackie Bouchard
    August 26, 2015 at 12:52 pm

    It’s so true that ideas are all over the place. Like Brea, I also hear something and think “what if…” Or “what must that be like?”

    And now I need to go read that dog rescue story! (Funny about the food blogger with the hidden eating disorder. It might come across as contrived in fiction, and yet it’s a true story. So true what they say… “The truth is stranger than fiction.”)

  6. Reply
    Jayne Denker
    August 26, 2015 at 1:47 pm

    Pauline, I almost wrote about writing inspirations for my blog post today! I get mine all over the place as well; the funny thing is I write small-town rom-coms and I live in a small village, so everyone here thinks I use all the local gossip for plots and all my neighbors as characters. Nothing could be further from the truth, but they see what they want to see. Even though the truth is WAY too strange for fiction!

  7. Reply
    Julie Valerie @Julie_Valerie
    August 26, 2015 at 1:56 pm

    I’m sometimes overwhelmed by all of the story ideas I get – knowing there will never be enough hours in the day to capture each idea and shape it into a novel or chapter or scene.

    I also get a lot of inspiration from the many wonderful writing prompt resources online. Ideas are everywhere. (Thank goodness!)

  8. Reply
    Tracy Krimmer
    August 28, 2015 at 5:07 am

    I find myself getting ideas from snippets of overheard conversation, signs I see, lyrics in songs. Sometimes a book title pops into my head and it goes from there. I also have a writing exercise book called What If? that I like.

  9. Reply
    Prince Snow Farm
    August 28, 2015 at 1:08 pm

    I get ideas from life. What I have done, who I have known,how I have felt…all the focal point of my writing. As a reader I do enjoy stories based on real life…historical fiction is my absolute favorite genre.

  10. Reply
    Shelly Hickman
    August 29, 2015 at 8:39 am

    My husband and I used to be “Law and Order” junkies, and their writers do this all the time. You could practically figure out which public figure they were referring to in some of the episodes.

    I’ll hear little snippets of conversation that sometimes spark an idea for a maybe a scene. I wish I was better at cataloging ideas when I see or hear something of interest in current events.

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