After I put the book club YouTube video into its playlist on Tuesday night, I had a little browse around. Something I tend to do intermittently. As we know, there just aren’t enough hours in the day to do everything. And I came across this great short clip of Neil Gaiman being asked the very question – Where do you get your ideas from? It’s only a little over 4 minutes long, so well worth the watch. I imagine you will identify with a lot of what he says and also chuckle at a lot of what he says!
For me, it’s generally the daydreaming, or rather, as one of the things Gaiman mentions, recognising when you’re daydreaming and that idea’s are in there. I now have a list on my phone (which is backed up/synched to the cloud) of the ideas that randomly pop into my head of new crimes, scenario’s, characters, single sentences even, ready and waiting for me to look at and work on further. I seriously have a whole novel waiting to be written – that isn’t crime – that started out as one sentence in my head as I was driving home.
Don’t trust that because it’s a great thought and a great idea, that your memory will retain it. Write everything down!
I know not everyone gets their idea’s randomly like this. Ian Rankin has stated he saves newspaper clippings with interesting snippets in and gathers them all in one place and when he’s ready, he gets them out and goes from there.
We all do it differently. As Gaiman brilliantly shows with his frustration at the question. So, where do you get your ideas from?