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 Post subject: story ideas
PostPosted: Mon Jun 21, 2010 8:38 am 
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The news is great for story ideas, don't ya think.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2010/ ... ned-europe

Rather than ask the "where do you get your ideas from" question, I'm curious as to what people consider the most surprising circumstances in which an idea for a story came to them. Anyone?


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 21, 2010 9:07 am 
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Well I once spent a whole afternoon walking up and down a slabbed garden path avoiding treading on the cracks in an attempt to reach a trance state, and at the end of that time I had a 'vision' of the sky bursting into flames like the map does at the start of the old TV programme "Bonanza", and that became the inspiration for a story called "Dissonance".

And while watching Patti Smith perform on an end of year edition of "The Old Grey Whistle Test" the image came to me of a humanoid snake having sex with a human male that became the pivotal scene in a novella called "Confession of a Hollow Man". That one makes little sense. I love Patti Smith :lol:

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 21, 2010 2:55 pm 
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Wow, the path to writing taken literally.

Just realised this thread is in the wrong place - sorry, should be in general discussions.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 21, 2010 4:37 pm 
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My story, "The Onion Code", in the recent "Where The Heart Is" anthology from Gray Friar Press, was not inspired - as some have suggested - by Dan Brown's similarly titled tome, but by one checkout girl in Iceland shouting across to another, "have you got the onion code?", when I was purchasing said vegetable. I was completely unaware of the Brown book at the time, but just liked the title :)

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 21, 2010 6:56 pm 
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My story "Scorched Earth" was inspired by someone's unfortunate remark that the earth would be ruled by giant lizard men before Andy Murray won Wimbledon...

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 21, 2010 10:19 pm 
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Andrew, I love that. Hilarious!

Great story, by the way. I was intrigued by the phone-reading ability, too.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 22, 2010 4:10 am 
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Drifting off to sleep one night i heard a door creaking, which in my semi-conscious state sounded like a young girl laughing. Strange, but it has inspired the novel I'm working on..


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 22, 2010 9:05 am 
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I misheard a friend of mine and it inspired a story. I've no idea what she actually said, but it was nothing like Dracula's New Dress, which is what I heard. That story has now been accepted for an anthology.

Now I partially block my ears with cotton wool in order to hear more ideas...


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 22, 2010 1:35 pm 
I've only once ever had a dream that made it into a novel. In fact, it made the novel. Gather round everyone, gather round...

Once upon a time I woke up one morning at 4am, having had the most vivid dream possible about a sunken house. As I lay there, waiting for the dream to vanish like they always do, it just got more vivid, and I started "putting the scenario together" for a story. After 5 minutes I had the entire structure of a book in my head, and I thought to myself, I've really got to get up and write all this down. I did this, then expanded it that same morning after breakfast.

It became a short YA novel. Haven't had it published yet, but if I do I'll let you know. :D


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 22, 2010 2:27 pm 
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Yeah, dreams are good that way. I've had a similar experience and that, too, became the foundation for a novel. I wasn't in the dream, which has only happened a couple of times for me. A big chunk of the novel's done (100,000) but I keep getting sidetracked by short stories...


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 22, 2010 3:12 pm 
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I've had a couple of odd moments from dreams turning up in books- an ice covered Trafalgar Square informed a great deal of the book I wrote for last year's NaNoWriMo, and a dream about enormous, looming churches was turned into a rather long (and weird) sequence in the first book I wrote. It does tend to be images that turn up more often than actual ideas, though.

Otherwise I find it very difficult to say just where they come from. I've written at least two short stories from random items picked out of Brewer's Phrase and Fable though- that book is a goldmine!


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 22, 2010 3:24 pm 
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I often have dreams that are very strong on atmosphere - a mood, a state of mind, connected with an image or real or imaginary place - but there isn't a specific situation or narrative logic to make them tick as a story. However, I do sometimes find I have my best ideas just as I'm waking in the morning. Breakthroughs in 'blocked' stories often seem to happen at those times.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 23, 2010 11:36 am 
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Quote:
Once upon a time I woke up one morning at 4am, having had the most vivid dream possible about a sunken house.


I once went to sleep with an image in my head that I wanted to build into a story - and woke at 4 a.m. with the first half of the plot in my head.

Fortunately, the next night, I woke up (again at 4 a.m.) with the second half in my head...

The result was accepted for the next Crimewave. Funnily enough, I called it '4 a.m. When the Walls are Thinnest.'

4 a.m. is clearly the magic hour... :D

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 23, 2010 1:05 pm 
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I look forward to the story even more now...


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 23, 2010 3:46 pm 
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FWIW, my story currently in Black Static had its seeds in an epic rant about "Twilight". I came up with the title as a joke, and then my friends made me actually write the story to go with it (-:

-Suzanne


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