Where do authors get their ideas from?

People seem to ask this question all the time of authors. If that question interests you, check out M. J. Rose’s Backstory blog, where authors write about the things that sparked the ideas for their books. If you’re an author, you can also submit your own story about what prompted you to write your book.

Thank you to Top 100 Creative Writing Blogs article for the link.

About Cheryl Rainfield

I write the books I needed and couldn't find as a teen. I write teen fiction--paranormal fantasy and gritty realistic fiction. I'm the author of SCARS (WestSide Books, 2010) #1 ALA QuickPicks, and Governor General Literary Award Finalist, HUNTED (WestSide Books, Oct 2011), STAINED (Harcourt, 2013), The Last Dragon (HIP Books, Sept 2009), and Walking Both Sides (HIP Books, 2011). I also enjoy drawing, surfing the web, connecting with people I like, doing crafts, and being with my dog.
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5 Responses to Where do authors get their ideas from?

  1. Madison says:

    People ask me where I get my ideas from all the time. So many things inspire me that it’s hard to pick just one. For instance, I can tell you what THOUGHT inspired KHALADIN, the middle grade fantasy I’m querying now, but I can’t tell you HOW I got that thought. Sometimes people just do things because they were born to and that’s all there is to it. 😀

  2. Val C. says:

    I often get my stories just by exercising my imagination. If something strikes me as absurd – like a penguin with pizza cravings, to use an example from a recent school visit – I let it roll around a bit and before I know it I have a cast of characters and the makings of a fun and goofy story all ready to go!

    But be warned, I may do the same thing with a fragment of conversation overheard. Some people really seem to think they are safe talking on their cell phones in the middle of the aisle at the grocery store…

  3. Cheryl says:

    Madison, Jo, I hear you! Ideas come from all over. I’ve never understood that question, myself–ideas are all around us–but authors get asked it a lot.

    Val C, I laughed (in understanding) at your using a fragment of overheard conversation. Those can be great story starters!

    I like the idea, too, of taking something that seems absurd and making a fun story out of it.

  4. Victoria says:

    I don’t have a name for her, but she’s the one running around in my head, waving papers in the air, screaming. “You have got to write that down, NOW!” She’s my Muse. She’s an avid research junkie and hoarder of images, ideas, snippets of conversation, one-liners, titles.. you name it! She sits on my shoulder when I’m writing, jabbering away usually faster than I can write down what she’s telling or showing me. It’s like sitting in a movie theater with a notepad and pen trying to write down everything happening on screen as fast as I can. She says, “See this, feel this, smell this, listen to this, taste this, imagine that… Oh, and don’t forget the part where this happened… did you get what she said?” And on and on she goes. 🙂


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