Where Do Ideas Come From?

This blog is being brought to you via Divine Intervention. I was at 10,000 feet and out of ideas. 

And then, I was reading a blog post by Lois Winston, author of Assault with a Deadly Glue Gun, and she was blogging about her “idea book.”

Her idea book is a notebook that contains clipped news and magazine articles, pictures that stirred her to think of an interesting plot line or blurb, or maybe just a headline from print or web media that caught her eye. She keeps them in the notebook so they are readily accessible when she’s ready to write that next story.

Then Elizabeth Sinclair, whose most recent release Hawk’s Mountain, has just hit the stores and cyberspace stopped by for coffee on Thursday. 

She’d presented her goal, motivation and conflict-type program at the Ponte Vedra Florida Writers Association meeting and was telling me how wonderful  the FWA groups are. She said after forty minutes of GMC –related Q&A was done, people started asking her where her ideas came from. Elizabeth writes in several romance genres, including paranormal-inspirational, romantic suspense and sweet romance, so the questions have a lot of merit. What spurs an author to write a sweet, inspiring story about an accident-prone angel and a damaged mortal who are guided through their journey by a St. Bernard who is the angel’s supervisor? (Angel Unaware) Or, where did the idea of a chess-playing psychopath with a vengeance for fire-fighters come from? (Touched by Fire)

Elizabeth  says that she keeps a file on her computer and as news stories, TV movies, or even song lyrics get her thinking about a plot, she captures that info in the file and can then browse through there for ideas when a new contract offer appears.

Me? I’ve always kept a hanging folder in the file drawer in my desk that says IDEAS. In there is an assortment of clipped news articles, Internet stories, photographs, Five Guy napkins with notes on them, and matchbooks. If I’m stumped about the next short story I want to write, I close my eyes, put my hand in the file and draw out whatever my fingers pull out. Then I set it on the desk and look at it for a few days. That seems to seed the imagination for me.

What’s your method for capturing the gazillions of ideas that you bump into during the course of your life? Where do your ideas come from? Come and share them with everyone here so we can learn from each other.

And thanks Lois and Elizabeth, for being the inspiration for this blog post. As always, your sharing has made a difference for this writer.

Keep writing,



About NL Quatrano

Award-winning author, speaker, editor and ghost writer, Nancy owns a full-time editing, writing and specialty publishing business: On-Target Words/WC Publishing. Volunteer/member of professional writing organizations including Florida Writers Assoc., Sisters in Crime, and AWAI. 2010 Professional Woman of the Year by the NAPW. Linked in Editor Pick May 2013. International Women's Leadership Association nominee for Outstanding Leadership 2014. Author of Murder in Black and White, Still Shot, Merciful Blessings, and numerous published short stories.
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2 Responses to Where Do Ideas Come From?

  1. Sharon says:

    Everything gives me an idea. I see concepts and ideas in virtually everything but, for the most part, I save things from the Internet, newspapers, music, comments from friends, and I keep a little notebook of quotes. The quotes alone will give me mega-ideas.

    Great post, Nancy!

    • NL Quatrano says:

      Sharon, you made me laugh.You have NO shortage of ideas and thatis inspiring to me. Great idea on the quotes. I sometimesget my inspiration from quotes, too!!

      Thanks and hopethis week’s ideas make you tons ofmoney and bring you joy! ________________________________

      On-Target Words: Professional Writing Services (TM) “Success is all about word choice!” an NL Quatrano, LLC company ________________________________

      Press Release and Media Kit Specialists Articles,Content Editing,Copy Writing,Ghost Writing http://www.ontargetwords.com 386-546-5164

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