Where Do Writers Get Their Ideas? By Ann McAllister Clark

It’s magical really. Well, at first it may seem that way. Creative thoughts, words and phrases running through a writer’s mind as she is writing. Sometimes it feels the words are like ribbons spilling out of our fingers, pens, pencils or keypads as if someone or something else is actually gathering them up and pushing them out on the page. When that happens I always send up a sincere ‘Thank You’ to the goddess of verbiage and thoughts. Yes, it is magic and when it happens I take a big breath and stay with it as long as I can.

And then I remember all the studying I have done – many college classes and dozens of writing books over the years. I read classics – Russian, English, and mostly American.

Writers get this question all the time – “Where do your ideas come from?” Ideas come right from a compilation of life and the writer’s experiences – encounters and events or things she has witnessed or researched. Writers have a way of filling up their internal and invisible sponge with all that moves before their eyes and ears and all the minutia of life. A writer is voraciously curious and thirsty for interest. A bit of this person, a little of that person, saved notes of conversation and pieces of experience all go into the vault of ideas. So ideas come from just about anywhere and go into the big soup pot of a rich mix. And then at the end of this wash of creativity comes the real work. Revision, revision and then more revision. The work never seems completely right and some writers may revise a dozen times or more.

bone in teethI watched much of the George Zimmerman trial in Sanford, Florida. I suspect many writers watch court cases on TV or better yet in their own county courtrooms with thoughts of incorporating what they see into their stories. We have files of interesting newspaper clips and magazine articles to be used at a later date for inspiration or research. I took notes on the attributes of the detectives, lawyers and court proceedings during the trial in Sanford. I used those notes to describe the detectives in A Bone In Her Teeth: A St. Augustine Mystery.

Traveling through the streets of Gettysburg, Washington, DC, and Antitam and walking many battlefields helped me immensely with description in my historical novel, The Chrysalis: An American Family Endures The Civil War.

I just finished reading Justice Sonia Sotomayor’s memoir, My Beloved World. http://www.amazon.com/My-Beloved-World-Sonia-Sotomayor-ebook/dp/B00957T7CQ/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1447440566&sr=1-1&keywords=my+beloved+world

MorganWhen she was a young girl of about eight years old, she faithfully watched the weekly television program, Perry Mason and decided she wanted to be a lawyer! And then she diligently pursued that direction in every single aspect of her educational life all the way to her seat on the United States Supreme Court. I used her early years for inspiration in Morgan’s Redemption

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sonia_Sotomayor

Where do we get our ideas for writing? Everywhere and anywhere.

Ann’s Books

A Bone In Her Teeth, paperback and kindle

Morgan’s Redemption, kindle edition and paperback

About  Ann McAllister Clark

A graduate with a BA in Education from charming Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Ann McAllister Clark, author of the award-winning novel, A Bone in Her Teeth: A St. Augustine Mystery, and Morgan’s Redemption: 1st in the Morgan’s Bridge series and soon to be released, The Chrysalis: An American Family Endures The Civil War,  is a teacher, journalist, and former used bookstore owner. She now lives and writes in a small cottage in the Nation’s Oldest City, St. Augustine, Florida.

Ann McAllister Clark’s website
Ann McAllister Clark’s blog “Ann’s Cottage Blog
Ann McAllister Clark’s facebook page

 

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About patyjag

Paty Jager is an award-winning author of 30+ novels, novellas, and short stories of murder mystery, western romance, and action adventure. All her work has Western or Native American elements in them along with hints of humor and engaging characters. Paty and her husband raise alfalfa hay in rural eastern Oregon. Riding horses and battling rattlesnakes, she not only writes the western lifestyle, she lives it.
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One Response to Where Do Writers Get Their Ideas? By Ann McAllister Clark

  1. patyjag says:

    Welcome to Ladies of Mystery. Thank you for being a guest. I agree, ideas come from everywhere. I never know what is going to turn the light bulb on in my head.

    Like

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