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Alphabet Blogging: I is for…

Ideas.1097827_29013293

As a younger writer I carried a small notebook and a pen in my back pocket everywhere I went. It probably drove my poor mom nuts, since I was constantly forgetting to take the pen out of my pocket. I know I ruined at least one pair of shorts by sending them through the wash with the pen still in the pocket. Turns out black gel-pen ink is impossible to get out of khaki. Oops

Come to think of it, this might be why I was eventually assigned laundry duty.

I would drag that notebook out at the slightest hint of an idea and scribble it down, often telling friends and family “Hang on, just a minute! I have to write this down!” They were quite patient, as a minute usually turned into five, and–if someone didn’t pull me back to reality–those five minutes turned into a full fifteen or twenty.

Once at a family gathering, I was busy scribbling in the notebook when a relative asked, “Where do you get all these ideas?”

“Everywhere,” I said. And it’s true. I’ve gotten ideas everywhere, from a snippet of overheard conversation (yeah, I’m an eavesdropper) to a colorfully-clad hipster dude passing me on the bike path. Sometimes dreams connect the dots for me, though I’ve never gotten a full-fledged story idea from a dream, just ideas on how to tweak things. TV shows and movies are often sources of inspiration, as is Pinterest. Oddly enough I seldom get ideas from books, though if I finish a really good book, it makes me excited to dive back into writing and editing my own stuff.

I’ve noticed ideas, especially new ones, seem to come and go in spurts. Currently, I’m going through a dry spell on new ideas–which is fine, because I already have way too many ideas. I’ll never get them all written–but the ideas for sequels to my urban fantasy are flooding in, so much so that I have no idea how to incorporate them all.

And then there’s that–how to sort through the ideas and pick which ones to work on. I know I’ll never have the time in my life to write all my ideas. So I tend to mash ideas together a lot–the Underworld Mythos series was born from two separate trilogies that were similar, so I threw them together. The final product isn’t going to look like either one of those trilogies, but I like to think I made it better. I also pick the ones that I’m most excited about, otherwise I know I’ll never have enough steam to get through the entire thing. And sometimes, I’m pleased to find my ideas are only sustainable for a short story or a novella. (Though sometimes short story ideas surprise me and turn into a whole series.)

So…there’s a short little ramble on what ideas look like for me. What about you? How do you get ideas, and how do you pick which ones to work on?

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About H. A. Titus

H. A. Titus is usually found with her nose in a book or spinning story-worlds in her head. Her love affair with fantasy began at age twelve, when her dad handed her The Lord of the Rings after listening to it on tape during a family vacation. Her stories have been published in Digital Dragon Magazine, Residential Aliens Magazine, and four anthologies: Alternative Witness; Avenir Eclectia Volume 1; The Tanist's Wife and Other Stories; and Different Dragons Volume II. In December 2013, her short story "Dragon Dance" won Honorable Mention in a Writers of the Future contest. She lives on the shores of Lake Superior with her meteorologist husband and young son, who do their best to ensure she occasionally emerges into the real world. When she's not writing, she can be found rock-climbing, skiing, or hanging out at her online home, hatitus.wordpress.com.

One comment on “Alphabet Blogging: I is for…

  1. Your blog although helpful left me short winded….:D I am joking. It reminded me of me. I have especially now that I am slowly getting into trying to write with another, I find myself in Elizabeth’s world which is based on a type of ” space opera,” type of writing. At least the one story. The other is more of a land based futuristic. Either way, I find myself being drawn into one or the other’s worlds and seeing it from their view. But I have been of recent been collecting photo’s that ” jump” out at me for one or the other story. I was always a collector of photographs. People, places and things regardless. But I perceived that I would need them down the road. If I don’t didn’t hurt to save it. Deleting is easy. I also collect words from my WordPress blogs. And quotes from people current to ancient. I too am a collector. I wonder if all potential or actual writers are? Makes me wonder if we and I say me loosely as I am no where close to where all of you are. But I wonder if that is also why I love thrift stores and garage sales. They are a form of collecting potential gems. I appreciated your insights and hope to be able to say I am where you are yourself. I hope so.
    Keep on writing…
    Yisraela

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