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Old 11-20-2012, 10:46 AM   #1
kennyc
The Dank Side of the Moon
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Where do Ideas Come From?



and if you are interested in more depth, American Masters - Rod Serling:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uQVk9...eature=related

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Old 11-20-2012, 10:55 AM   #2
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Never mind, feeble joke.

Last edited by Corkobo; 11-20-2012 at 10:57 AM. Reason: Should not have posted in the first place...
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Old 11-20-2012, 11:09 AM   #3
kennyc
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Harlen says they come from a mailbox in Schenectady.


When asked where he gets his ideas, Harlan Ellison has the following reply:

When some jamook asks me this one (thereby revealing him/herself to be a person who has about as much imaginative muscle as a head of lettuce), I always smile prettily and answer, "Schenectady."

And when the jamook looks at me quizzically, and scratches head with hairy hand, I add: "Oh, sure. There's a swell Idea Service in Schenectady; and every week I send 'em twenty-five bucks; and every week they send me a fresh six-pack of ideas."


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Old 11-20-2012, 06:30 PM   #4
Anna Drake
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Kennyc, now that's funny. But I'm also serious. Where do your ideas come from? I always seem to start with a first scene, first chapter. Then I have to flesh it our from there. Ugh.
Anybody else?
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Old 11-20-2012, 07:01 PM   #5
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Gotta love Mr Sterling!
I dont come up with ideas as much as I observe them.
I also think during specific periods of time certain ideas pester large groups of people.
So yeah, were all thinkin the same thing just make sure you do something with it before I do!
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Old 11-20-2012, 07:38 PM   #6
kennyc
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anna Drake View Post
Kennyc, now that's funny. But I'm also serious. Where do your ideas come from? I always seem to start with a first scene, first chapter. Then I have to flesh it our from there. Ugh.
Anybody else?
It depends, but often with a title or a core idea or scene. I then try to expand that to sections, chapters or outline...
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Old 11-20-2012, 08:27 PM   #7
Ralph Sir Edward
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anna Drake View Post
Kennyc, now that's funny. But I'm also serious. Where do your ideas come from? I always seem to start with a first scene, first chapter. Then I have to flesh it our from there. Ugh.
Anybody else?
Sometimes it comes from the challenge to do the impossible.

I'm a cheerful amateur, and don't want to be anything else.

A person on a thread here, wrote about going fossil hunting and finding some fossilized dinosaur poop. Coprolite, it's officially called.

Another amateur writer writes long windy, relatively plotless stories here to much popularity, (But I love his work...).

So I decided to write a story about dinosaur poop. (Hey, the late Warren Zevon used Brucesellosis in a song, why not dinosaur poop?) And since plotless stories make me grumpy, I wanted the story to be tightly plotted. What are the most tightly plotted stories around? Mysteries! So I would write a mystery. The people I was writing for liked completely silly stories. So it had to be a silly mystery. That was Ok, a story about dinosaur poop was inherently silly. And since I'm a proud Texan, the main character had to be a Texan. And I could include all sort of Texas in-jokes and slang, with a concordance at the end for all the non-Texans (MobileRead's clientele is world wide) to understand the jokes.

Lest you think this is totally weird, Issac Asimov wrote The Gods Themselves because Robert Silverberg gave a speech at a convention where Asimov was at, referring to Plutonium-186. It was a typo, the most common isotope of Plutonium was 286. Asimov chided Silverberg about his sloppy science, and told him that since he was great science-fiction writer, he would write a story about Plutonium-186. It won him a Hugo and Nebula award for best novel for that year. What was good enough for Asimov was good enough for me...

If you want an excursion into Bad Taste and worse jokes...See The Case of the Golden Coprolite here on MR. Keep a wastebasket handy...
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Old 11-20-2012, 08:35 PM   #8
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Thanks for posting this Kennyc. Mr. Serling is/was a master of the craft of writing and from the clips I watched much (if not all) of his advice is still relevant to writing today I think. We have much to learn from the master of the written word that he was and always shall be as long as his works are still available to us via episodes of 'The Twilight Zone.'
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Old 11-21-2012, 01:10 AM   #9
GrannyGrump
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Quote:
A person on a thread here, wrote about going fossil hunting and finding some fossilized dinosaur poop. Coprolite, it's officially called.
Dang. Now that has me trying to remember an old sci-fi short story on the subject. I can't remember author, title, publication date or even year--- prior to 1980, I'm sure. But it involved time-traveling archeologists who did something to damage the existence of coprolite fossils, and one of the party volunteered to replace the missing source specimens, so-to-speak. She had to eat lots of roughage, and was no longer overweight at the end of the trip...

Last edited by GrannyGrump; 11-21-2012 at 01:15 AM.
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Old 11-21-2012, 01:24 AM   #10
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All ideas come from this Youtube video



Ah Sunflower
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Old 11-21-2012, 02:23 AM   #11
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Dreams provide me with ideas, have a pad of paper and a pen by the bed its surprising what emerges
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Old 11-22-2012, 06:53 AM   #12
Nancy Fulda
I write stories.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anna Drake View Post
Kennyc, now that's funny. But I'm also serious. Where do your ideas come from? I always seem to start with a first scene, first chapter. Then I have to flesh it our from there. Ugh.
Anybody else?
In my experience, the best ideas come out of the intersection of two or more known facts. Or sometimes out of the questions that intersection raises. Here's an example.

Fact: Mechanical prostheses are beginning to exceed natural human capacities.
Fact: Mankind is beginning to establish a commercial presence in space.

Idea/Question: What niche in spacefaring societies will prosthetically-equipped humans be uniquely suited to fill?

As far as I can tell, this pattern holds true for most authors. A couple of ideas come together, a new connection is forged between neurons, and suddenly a chain reaction of 'what-ifs?' begins to form.

Accordingly, one of the best ways to generate new ideas is to assimilate new facts. Read Discover Magazine, or whatever news or technology publication most fascinates you. Talk with interesting people. Read cool books. And then, when the ideas come: Recognize them for what they are, write them down, mull them over, and see what emerges.
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Old 11-22-2012, 07:10 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anna Drake View Post
Kennyc, now that's funny. But I'm also serious. Where do your ideas come from? I always seem to start with a first scene, first chapter. Then I have to flesh it our from there. Ugh.
Anybody else?
I always start with the setting, then when some plot ideas come to mind that fits the setting, then I start considering how to start it. Never before that.
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Old 11-22-2012, 01:16 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nancy Fulda View Post
In my experience, the best ideas come out of the intersection of two or more known facts. Or sometimes out of the questions that intersection raises. Here's an example.

Fact: Mechanical prostheses are beginning to exceed natural human capacities.
Fact: Mankind is beginning to establish a commercial presence in space.

Idea/Question: What niche in spacefaring societies will prosthetically-equipped humans be uniquely suited to fill?

As far as I can tell, this pattern holds true for most authors. A couple of ideas come together, a new connection is forged between neurons, and suddenly a chain reaction of 'what-ifs?' begins to form.

Accordingly, one of the best ways to generate new ideas is to assimilate new facts. Read Discover Magazine, or whatever news or technology publication most fascinates you. Talk with interesting people. Read cool books. And then, when the ideas come: Recognize them for what they are, write them down, mull them over, and see what emerges.
And sometimes ideas come out of what a person has themselves read I imagine. The Sci. Fi. reader of yesterday may well be the Sci Fi writer of today etc.
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Old 11-22-2012, 03:20 PM   #15
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A falling leaf.
A grasses bent blade.
From such slight signs
are ideas made.
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