Where do you get your ideas from for your writing?

Do you get ideas for your stories or novels at the wrong time? And what do you do about it, if anything?

One of my favorite places to get ideas at the wrong time is at night when I am about to go to sleep, tossing and turning, and so on. Ideas will pop in, and I do the same thing each time because it works so well. I say to myself, I will remember this tomorrow, for I don’t need to write it down. Because that always works. Ugh. I am not sure why I can’t put a notepad near me. Well, I have, but did I put anything in? No. Instead, I tell myself that I will remember that.

Another place where ideas come to me is in the car. That reminds me. I need to put a notepad in the car. I rarely keep my cell phone out unless I am charging it. I don’t call or text when I am driving. It can wait.

Another place that is just peachy when I come up with ideas is the shower. Because nothing says story ideas like a shower, am I right? I won’t bring up the idea that came to me on how to remember the story idea. Just too stupid. But this is where I get a mega amount of story ideas.

The point is ideas will come at you from all directions, any time of the day, and at any eventful thing you are doing. It doesn’t care if the doctor is about to come into the examination room. It doesn’t care if it is finally your turn at the DMV or any place where you have time to wait. It is not a concern if you are doing anything else. Ideas will pop in at will and demand you pay attention to them.

I am getting better at writing these down or noting them for later. Still, for all I know, I may have had the idea for a NY best-selling book, but I didn’t, for whatever reason, write it down.

Writing among other writers: Check your surroundings

One should be careful when you are out in public and writing, especially with other writers discussing different scenes.

Three of my writer friends met with me at a local Chinese restaurant. After sitting down, we started talking about our craft. My friend Gina began to discuss a death scene. She mentioned how the man was in a tub full of chemicals that would dissolve a body.

Looking at her and not realizing or paying attention to who was around me, I told her that it all depended on the size and weight of the man and what chemical she was using. She would have a hot mess if she used the wrong amount or the chemical.

My friend Adrianne started to say, “Guys, lower your voices.”

We ignored her and continued. I told my friend Gina that if she used the wrong chemical, there could be a chance it would eat through the tub and the floor, and it would fall to the first floor.

Again, my friend Adrian said, “Guys, lower your voices,” as she pointed to her right.

Again good ole me ignored her and continued. As I did so, I just happened to look over. Sitting next to us were four officers, two of which were listening to me.

We quickly explained we were writers, honest, and discussing a scene. I continued to tell them that my degree was in Chemistry, to which they smiled. But we quickly moved on to a different topic.

I need to start carrying a sign that I am a writer when I write in public.

A tip to help you edit your manuscript

As you grow in your writing, you learn tricks of the trade. These are invaluable because they help save you time and improve your manuscript. Then there are the tips you might hear about from other writers when they share what they have heard used.

When someone said that they read their works backup, my head immediately looked up to turn to look at her. I was surprised. I was even more surprised when I saw some of the other members nod their heads.

What the heck, read your manuscript backward? According to them, when you read your manuscript, your mind tricks you into believing you have read every word. The mind skims over words, especially if you have read your WIP to heck and back. Your brain is unable to do this as readily. Because who reads a book backward? By doing so, you catch errors missed and errors that were big that could have made your manuscript tank.

It turned out it was an actual thing once I read it online about this shortly after the meeting,

Yes, I have read a page or two but nothing significant. I keep telling myself I will do it. If it is another tool to make your work pop, I need to make an honest effort to try it for myself. Thank goodness my children’s series are not so long. But oh man, when I work on my manuscripts in the 50K, it will take me convincing myself a lot to give this a go.

The Musings of A New Englander