Friday, October 21, 2016

Finding Ideas

by Rebecca Talley  @rebeccatalley
Indie Author Hub Executive Committee Chair

I’m often asked where I find my ideas. My picture book, Grasshopper Pie, was based on an experience I had when my children tried to feed me a live grasshopper. I tweaked the experience enough to make it an interesting story and sold it to a publisher.

After I wrote Grasshopper Pie, I worried that I’d never have another idea. Wrong. Writing ideas are everywhere and now I have so many ideas I have to write them in a notebook to keep track.

Many of the stories or articles I’ve written have been based on my own experiences. A story that was recently published in the Friend magazine was based on an experience with my German neighbor when I learned to sing a song in German and shared it with her at Christmas one year.

Finding writing ideas is easy if you take the time to notice the world around you. Newspaper headlines, bits and pieces of a conversation on the subway, stories your kids share, fables, or television shows can form the basis of a writing idea.

With the invention of the internet, you can easily mine idea nuggets while you surf the web. Look for personal interest stories, new discoveries, or science articles to prick your imagination. Visit forums, check out blogs, or research certain topics to find even more ideas.

You might find ideas by reading books. Sometimes you can read a book and think about how you might change the story. Would you have a different antagonist? A different goal for the character? A different setting? Would the ending be different if you wrote it? Of course, you should never copy someone else's work, but using a previously written book can be a beginning point to creating your own unique story.

Be sure to write down all of your writing ideas no matter how ridiculous they seem. You never know when one of those ideas will be perfect for writing a story.

Rebecca grew up next to the ocean in Santa Barbara, California. She spent her youth at the beach collecting sea shells and building sandcastles. She graduated from high school and left for college, where she met and married her sweetheart, Del.

Del and Rebecca are the sometimes frazzled, but always grateful, parents of ten wildly-creative and multi-talented children and the grandparents of the most adorable little girls in the universe.

After spending nineteen years in rural Colorado with horses, cows, sheep, goats, rabbits, and donkeys, Rebecca and her family moved to a suburb of Houston, Texas, where she spends most of her time in the pool trying to avoid the heat and humidity. When she isn't in the pool, she loves to date her husband, play with her kids, swim in the ocean, redecorate her house, and dance to disco music while she cleans the house.

Rebecca has always loved to write and has authored novels, stories for print and online magazines, and children's books. She now focuses on writing romance because she believes everyone deserves their happily-ever-after.

You can find Rebecca on her website, her author page on FaceBook, and on Twitter at @rebeccatalley.

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