Tierney James, Author

Lipstick & Danger

Big Ideas

Posted on Feb 10, 2014 by   No Comments Yet | Posted in Uncategorized
I’m often asked how do I come up with a good story idea. To be honest some times it just happens. I’m driving along listening to the soundtrack to Captain America or Mission Impossible and it hits me; what if this or could this really be an issue? But a lot of those fade into the abyss of dead one line stories before I ever get the bread and milk from the grocery store. Here are some other ways I keep tracks of ideas.

1. Magazines: When I see a story that interests me and has a “wow” factor, I clip it out, stick it in a folder of ideas and move on. I’ll make a little note at the top of where my brain was headed. Then I move on until I need a story idea.

2.  Pictures: Susan Finley posts the most amazing pictures on Facebook. I can’t tell you how that makes my head spin with ideas. I save pictures too. Sometimes they are of people, other times there are places. Here again I write a few words to show why this caught my interest.

3. Music: Since I was a little girl music has been an inspiration that leads to stories. I could listen to Mozart’s 40th Symphony and just dream of movement between characters. It’s the same when I listen to soundtracks of video games or movies. I don’t limit myself there. Music from around the world is also very inspiring and can conjure beautiful interaction between the mind and the pen.

4.  Conversations: Have you ever been in a coffee shop and overheard a conversation between strangers. They may be talking about one thing but in your head it could totally be a plot to…well you get my drift. Write it down! Even the conversation.

5. Travel: There’s nothing like a little travel to give you big impact in the art of writing. When I was in Africa I made sure I sat with the native guide. He told me folk tales about so many of the animals I filled a notebook with just that. Granted not many people have that opportunity but I’ve gotten big ideas from walking into Union Station in St. Louis too. Come to find out there is a ghost, whispers of a mystery and a lot of hanky-panky going on there. Do you see where I’m headed? Engima #4 will be there!

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  1. Comment by Wanda Kay
    February 10, 2014 4:21 pm

    I have an extremely hard time coming up with ideas. May try some of yours.

  2. Comment by sdkeeling.com
    February 10, 2014 4:25 pm

    Ideas are so much fun! I get a lot of mine from history, mythology and science articles. I haven't done much with those science ideas yet, but I have some fun ideas kicking around in my head.

  3. Comment by Christine
    February 10, 2014 11:50 pm

    I love the idea about the magazines. I'll have to try it.

  4. Comment by Barbara
    February 11, 2014 3:01 am

    Great suggestions! Thanks for sharing. I don't think I have a specific thing or place that triggers mine–but I wish I did. It would be helpful LOL Barb Bettis

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