Almost all of my sci-fi/fantasy books are based on my dreams (my website is also named dreamquestbooks). The few that aren't based on dreams eventually end up there, especially after a 14 to 16 hour, day-long writing marathon ...
I usually keep my eye on the news and other media sources, because I am writing about current issues at the moment. I live in the UK so its all happening over here at the moment. Brexit is giving me some wonderful ideas for storylines.
I know it's probably different for every author. For me, I initially imagine a movie trailer in my head of a story I want to work on and write down some of the key scenes in said trailer to put into the story. I'm the kind of person that imagines that I'm watching a movie when reading a book, so naturally, imagining trailers in my head is the way I get most of my ideas.
So what about the rest of you? How do you formulate your ideas for stories?
I think my way of writing is kind of oddball to what other authors describe. Years ago, I learned to sew my own clothes using a pattern. After making several, I realized that I could create my own pattern designs. For me, writing a book is similar to crafting my own clothes patterns. I have this idea for a book, and I write out short stories that are the pattern parts to the big story. When I feel that I have an entire pattern, I start piecing and pinning them together where they need to go, and sewing them together. After that, I smooth out those rough edges to make it ‘seamless’ in presentation.
Ok, I’m ready for the people in white jackets to come after me with a butterfly net.
Edited for Mary Peebels by: The White Jacket People on Nov 9, 2017 2:39 PM
A really great question. I would imagine it is different for everyone, there is no right answer here. Being bitten by the bug to write a novel can be scary and undoubtedly daunting. The first thousand words, the hardest. For me, I took a premise, a simple idea and slowly began to think about it. In this order for me:
Is it a book or series? A book definitely should be outlined first. At least the first 10 chapters.
A series as well, only continue the outline for future books, adding when this or that happens.
Where does it start? Is it a jump to it first chapter with reflection later or a slow build revealing things as you go?
Don’t sit at a blank page until the story starts to spill out of your head. You will know.
Make notes, use a whiteboard if need be.
I still have a day job, find your imagination time of day. Mine is that hour-long commute with coffee. I bought an inexpensive voice recorder and take notes as I drive. You would be amazed at what you can come up with.
Smell the roses along the way, worrying those white blank pages doesn’t do you any good.