by Melinda Carroll
A year ago I went to a writing class on generating ideas. There were four authors, one very well-known, who were teaching the class. The first thing they said was, "Generating ideas is easy. You wouldn't be here at this workshop unless you already had plenty of ideas. So instead, we're going to talk about..."
I was so disappointed!!! I looked around the class thinking, "Really? I'm the ONLY one who thinks coming up with viable story ideas can be difficult?"
I think of probably twenty story ideas a day (or more), but they never usually make through a good night's sleep. I read a book by Orson Scott Card where he said that a good idea takes a long time to develop. He cited Ender's Game as an example (I LOVE that book). He said the idea for a battle school in space came to him years before the rest of the story actually took form.
So how do you generate ideas? Do they just come to you? Do you get inspired by other people? Do you brainstorm?