Why do we symbolize getting an idea with a light bulb? Is it because they flash bright without warning and then stay on, never to leave you alone until they turn off and leave you in the dark? I think that’s a good explanation. After all, ideas are similar. They come from nowhere, nag you, and then sometimes just disappear.
Or, at least that’s how I get my ideas. I’ll be sitting there and suddenly BAM. Idea for a new story. Usually the switch is a line from a TV show, or a joke from a friend. Something I hear, or see, and then nothing else is allowed to be visualized until I’ve worked through this idea and made it my own. Only sometimes, it slips away before I can.
Right now I’m working on five book series. The Lähibour Trilogy, The Elephant Series, The Nine Series, The Darul-Lidar Series (needs a new name), and now my Dragon Series, which I just finished the first book in yesterday. Each one of them has a unique, and very strange way I came up with them. I’ll start in order, from the time I was eleven years old.
The Lähibour Trilogy
When I was eleven years old, I sat with my step-mom every day after school and knitted with her. Or crocheted, or wove, or rug hooked. Basically anything artsy and craftsy. One day, when we were sitting together, and I had just finished rolling yarn into balls for her, I was playing with a piece of white, left over string. I finger knitted it into a little necklace that was too small to fit over my head, and that’s when I got an idea: A story about a tiara made from Unicorn Hair, and one made from a Dragon Heart String. I was a little obsessed with Harry Potter back then, and so it influenced me a lot. The story started out as a cute little love story between two faeries who traveled the world to save everything with the help of some friends. Typical eleven year old.
Then I entered high school, and the story changed. I asked a friend to read the story, and he made fun of it, telling me it was so cliche and I took that as a challenge. From there my writing changed completely, and instead of a cute love story, The Lähibour Trilogy turned into a dark trilogy focusing on the psyche of people and the effects of descending into madness.
The Elephant Series
Okay, I don’t honestly remember how this series started, I’m going to be honest. I was sixteen, obsessed with writing fanfiction, and one day it just happened. I went from plotting to completed at 210,000 words in seven months flat. I remember my friend and I were gushing over this pairing, and it took over our lives, and when I finished I felt complete. A year later I didn’t, and thus the desire to turn it into an original story was born. Now, I did, and nothing changed for a long time, until one character said something I wasn’t expect:
“My dad’s dead.”
In the original, his dad was a huge antagonist, but since he was dead, I had to figure out new ideas, and for a while I was stumped. Then, as I was reading through the original draft, I realized something about my main character, and suddenly the second half of the story was born. From there the other two books came out of me realizing I didn’t know enough about the side characters and needed to develop them more.
The Nine Series
I was sitting at a friend’s table, one month before my first NaNoWriMo, listening to her talk about her story. An idea that’d been niggling at the back of my mind decided to peek out, and the excitement my friend held for her story bled into mine. So, as she wrote, I took out a piece of paper and a pencil and started to plan. She and her sister asked me what I was doing and I told them planning. Six hours later I’d planned out the entire first book and started writing it. All because she talked about her story.
Anyone here watched “Once Upon a Time?” Well in one of the later episodes of the first season, one of the characters mentions to Emma that if anything in this world had magic, it’d be water, and from there I had an idea. Just a small one about people who could use magic from water. I kind of pushed it aside, as I had other stories to worry about, namely The First Nine which I was planning to publish, but it wouldn’t leave me alone. So the next day I decided just to humor myself an expanded it. It expanded, and now it won’t leave my mind alone.
The Dragon Series
Fall Out Boy’s new album kind of hooked me this summer. And as I was walking around the CSU Oval (I lived in an apartment right next to it), listening to the first song on the album, Phoenix, and thinking about Eragon, the idea just appeared in my head. It’s still jumping around, and as I finally wrote the first book this past month, it evolved even more.
Basically I get my light bulb ideas from anything and everything. Listening to people talk, watching TV, listening to music, reading other books, and even playing with a piece of string. The best thing to do is open up your mind. Always be willing to listen to something new and let the ideas take turns where you might not think they should.
How do you guys get ideas for your books? Anything weird? Anything cool? Don’t be afraid to share!
(P.S. I like these PS things. Also, I finished Eri’r Konhea at 85,000 words! Now on to the sequel!)