Where do writers get ideas?

Know where to look.

Where do writers get their ideas?

Getting ideas is easy, if you know where to look.

The first place to look is from you own thoughts and imagination. The second is from people or events around you.

My first works were poetry or stories based on my own life. Then I started to write about what interested me: i.e. my community and community concerns. Then I expanded those stories to larger issues and larger audiences. The subject matters still interested me. That is the key: writing stories that interest you. My topics ranged from helicopters, new land developments, and the recycling of polystyrene plastics. They were all local issues to me, and I like machines, land and buildings, and recycling.

My first book was about my life after my wife died. My second book is about someone else. That book, “Bullets & Babies” is based on the life of Janice Riddle. That story idea came from a colleague. I enjoy writing non-fiction. I was interested in her life.


Fiction books are made up stories based on ideas, personal experience, or questions about life. My fiction stories are still unpublished.

The ideas in those stories are answering questions you have, or had, about life situations. In my environmental story I have the hero and his antagonist. The characters came to me in a flash, a vivid movie in my head. It was only one scene, or a couple of pages. I had to invent the rest and find the tension to drive the story. But, where was the tension to drive the story? The bit of information I needed to connect the ideas, came from a news story. I was reading what I liked and there it was.

Ideas are all around. It is just a matter of picking an idea to write about. Then develop the idea into a story. Then the choice is to publish or leave it in a drawer, or computer file, as a learning lesson.

Rich with his Book Life Without Lisa

Rich with his Book Life Without Lisa