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Discussion Topic #1 - The Idea

When I was younger, I used to imagine myself far away: a spaceship jumping from one adventure to another, or lands filled with magic, fighting villains and slaying monsters. Sometimes the inspiration would come from a television show or cartoon, a movie or a book. Other times it would be something I observed, took note of and used it as a starting point for a story.

The idea is one of the most important aspects of writing. But where do we get these ideas? Do you have a specific technic? Or simple sit down in front of your computer and start writing? Do you keep a journal? Or a dream book that you look at to create a story? How do you come up with your ideas for a story?

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A specific technique would make the whole process so much easier! I never know where my inspiration is going to come from. Sometimes it's something I saw in an episode of my favorite show, a line that someone says. Sometimes it's something that is said in a conversation that sparks an idea. I've gotten inspiration from pictures and songs or other stories. Sometimes I'll just have a scene in my head and I have to write the story that goes with that scene.
I'm pretty much the same way. Whatever just pops into my head. :-P
I'm always really surprised where my inspiration comes from. I love things like the SGA Saturday challenges and flash fic. The prompts are general enough that the muse can go so many ways (not that I've written for either in a long time). Specific prompts don't usually work for me.

I know you're supposed to keep a diary, but that's never really worked for me in finding inspiration.
Well, the whole thing about writing a diary is not something that helps everyone. I myself don't, but I do have a list of stories that often come from dreams. When I wake up, I write the essential plot and leave it there. The same for fanfiction. I've found that having a list with the basic synopsis of each story really helps when I want to get back into that particular story.
All of my story ideas are fan fiction. I have a plot bunny hutch where I keep my ideas. I go read through them occasionally to see if anything catches the muses interest.
Ooooh, that's a good way too. I always find it hard to keep track of my stories unless I write a summary about them. My fanfiction doc is long.

When you get an idea, do you already know what fandom you're going to use it in or what characters?
Yes, I usually only write in one fandom at a time. When I get ideas, they're usually for my favorite characters. The few times I've had ideas for the the secondary characters I've always known it. Usually I'll get a scene from the fic or a what if this person did this? what would happen, that type of thing.

What about you? I always admire people who can write in more than one fandom or write original stories.
Well it depends on the story for me. I usually start with just a basic idea and go from there. Like for example, I had an idea to genderbend a character that has never, to my knowledge, has been before. I started thinking about that world, what would change, how would he be as a she, how would her world develop around her? That sort of thing.

I tend to have an idea for a fandom and go from there. Like, another example, I was reading a crossover fic. I liked it but wanted more, so I build the world around the idea of that crossover, then I made my own story. I guess for me when I read or watch something it can inspire me in fanfiction.

But original fiction comes mostly from dreams and basic ideas. I can get the idea from movies, but for the most part, these come from people watching or just a spark of a concept in my head and suddenly there's a world being built around it.
I guess for me I just tend to swim around the fandoms that I love so much. I don't do it with every fandom. Like right now, my obsessions are Naruto, Stargate Atlantis, NCIS. So the ideas that come are for those fandoms. And for my fav character in each.
I try to keep up with the world around me to at least some extent, with news feeds, news shows, and various media. Every now and then, some element will just resonate for me, and I'll try it on a character to see how it fits. Years ago, I used the characters from my original fiction; lately I use fanfiction characters. Sometimes this trial leads to something I find really interesting and I start writing.

I've tried writing to prompts, but they don't really seem to spark for me. My creative process doesn't seem to take well to artificial stimulation.
Ah, how interesting. I never would have thought to watch the news or read it. This intrigues me. I'm going to try it and see if I can get any inspiration out of it.

In regards to characters, starting with a set mold and going from there is an excellent idea. Another one I have to try.

Sometimes prompts work, but mostly I have trouble coming up with anything for them too.