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Saturday, July 31, 2010

The Writing Process: Where to get ideas?

As an author, I'm often asked where I get my ideas from. Quite honestly. the source of the majority of my works happens to be my dreams. I have been known to dream almost an entire book, sometimes over the course of one or many dreams. I'm careful to write them down when I have them, and they help me to later come up with stories around them. I'm lucky to both remember my dreams and dream vividly, and if you have a talent like that--use it!

But where else can people get story ideas from? I tell you all, read books, watch movies, and think and daydream about them afterwards. Ever get frustrated out how a book or a story ended? Why not think of how you would written a similar circumstance differently in a completely original work geared towards your own writing style, ideas, and experiences?

I have met writers who are afraid to read books; there's the concern that they will affect their writing process so much that they will accidentally copy or plagiarize someone else's material. Unless you have no control over your own work and are being possessed by the spirit of a fictional character from that work or something utterly exotic like that (ooh, plot idea!!), there's no reason to worry about this. You can get inspiration for themes in stories and still be able to write your own work.

Also, here's another thing: personal experience. It's often said you should write about what you know. Why not take an event that inspired you and rework it into a plot with its own characters and theme? And if you enjoy writing speculative fiction as I do, imagine the same set of circumstances only with magic, advanced technology, aliens, supernatural creatures...let your imagination run wild!

And that's really the thing: imagination. You have to embrace it, daydream, run wild with it. Spend time by yourself in order to think. Take long walks and dig into your creative process. You'll be glad you did!

Love & Magic,

Please Note: I am blogging on behalf of the Boston Rape Crisis Center, and if you wish to sponsor me in any dollar amount--none is too small, every bit counts!--please go here: then email me your receipt at so I can keep a running total. If you don't know what to put down for the donation, just put "Adrianne Brennan - Blogathon".


Phelan said...

garage and rummage sales. No really. Maybe it is just the genre, but the oddities of every day people make wonderful stories.

Adrianne Brennan said...

Foraging for ideas...I love it! :D

Phelan said...

oh, and I am not stalking you. I have been trying to get out and leave messages with the other blogathoners as well. midday is usually slow for comments, evening it will pick up, then die off again as we head over night.

Adrianne Brennan said...

LOL Not creeped out; I'm actually loving it! I appreciate getting the comments on here. Besides, it enters you in for a chance to win a copy of one of my books. ;)

Phelan said...

well then, that's the reason I am commenting. :D

Violette said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Violette said...

I dream quite vividly too! But i usually struggle to cling onto my dreams unless it's a particularly nice one :).
I find listening to music helps me to think of ideas. It's as though each song or sound is a film that i must create the images for.


Adrianne Brennan said...

Music is a wonderful source of inspiration! I gladly will attest to that :D

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