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?
He is very funny, isn’t he? But I think he is onto something serious there: writers are able to combine in a new way ideas which are there for anybody to see.
Annalisa Crawford says
Yes, what he said! He’s an amazing speaker, isn’t he? And it’s just occurred to me I’ve never read a single one of his books. I really must do that.
Alex J. Cavanaugh says
I’m reading one of his books right now.
Movies and music inspire my ideas. The manuscript I’m writing right now came from one song.
Margot Kinberg says
Rebecca – Oh, this is great! Thanks. I think we all get our ideas from different sources, whether it’s a person we see, a song, a dream or something else. It’s a matter of being open to that inspiration.
Great clip! You can tell he has no problem with his imagination anyway…
Jane Isaac says
Oh, Rebecca, this is such a coincidence.I wrote a guest blog for Rainstorm Press recently on this subject. Not sure if it’s been loaded yet, but my ideas derive from people – those I watch on TV, those around me – and putting them in extraordinary situations. I’ve always been nosey! Great clip, thanks for sharing.
Patricia Lynne (@plynne_writes) says
I daydream a lot, but it’s actually rare for story ideas to come from those. Mostly, they just pop in my head and the excitement of it gets me dreaming about it and a story starts to form.
Reblogged this on Some of my favourite posts and commented:
Love this video – thanks Rebecca!
Yes. 🙂 Like that. One question, and another, and a connection, usually a quirky character or two. Daydreaming.
Neil Gaiman is fantastic. Thanks for sharing this!