I’m one of the lucky ones, when it comes to ideas. I generally manage to have a lot of ideas, and it’s a matter of sussing out what’s the most developed, the most exciting to write. And on the rare occasion where no ideas are beating down the door, or nothing’s really holding my attention, I have a few tricks for getting the ideas flowing again.
1. Thesaurus- Sometimes I’ll search for random words that catch my attention. Sometimes, I start with a normal word, like Red. Plug that into a search, or sometimes, a thesaurus. Red leads to carnelian.
2. Google image search-Plugging in Carnelian leads me to pictures of rubies and gemstones. Hmm, gems. What can gems be? Symbols for royalty. Beautiful, sometimes fragile. Symbolic. Expensive. Rare. Set in metal, jewelry. A necklace, ripped off a woman’s neck, maybe? Who’s the woman? Someone fragile? Royalty? What would a Queen’s reaction be?
3. Random image generators- Sometimes, I don’t even have that much to start with. I found a random image generator, like this one, and just randomize until an idea happens. I find it helpful, for me, to set it on landscapes if I’m looking for settings, portraits for characters, events or news for plots.
Often, for me, it’s all of the above, sometimes for the same story.
How do you get ideas? Dreams? Prompts? Or something else entirely?