Wednesday, 27 January 2010

17 - Where ideas come from

In my first blog of One A Day, I was talking about how ideas often evolved to a point where I had no idea how I'd gotten to where I was. Now I want to talk about where original ideas come from.

Every story and novel I've ever written/planned can be pinned back to a single 'starting inspiration' and from there various influences shape it and beef it up. I often wonder when and where the next base idea will come from.

The last novel idea I came up with was when I went to Edinburgh Festival last year. It was me and two mates, a boy and a girl. Like me the boy just wanted to drink, watch comedy and play PS3. The girl, being an actress, wanted to see musicals and plays. Bowing to a mixture of guilt and solidarity I decided to accompany her to a modern dance production. My other friend was wise and put his foot down.

There's no denying that the guys dancing were talented, I was just overcome with tiredness and boredom. Then an idea came to me. A pretty good one I thought. I spent the remainder of the show planning it out. Maybe the show was inspirational or simply I was so bored that my mind provided me with something to think about; either way I'm glad I went to that dance performance or that idea never would have come to me.

But that begs the question - how many other ideas have I not had as a result of not doing stuff? Infinite I suppose. There's nothing really to say. Inspiration strikes. I've tried contriving ideas. Sitting in a chair trying desperately to fathom starting points for stories but all I do is drink copious amounts of tea, get a numb arse and formulate nothing worthwhile.

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