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Monday, November 30, 2009

A Novel Idea - Pun Intended


So I was sitting in church on Sunday and was struck with a novel idea. Or rather, a series of novels. All of the novel-ly sort. The story would be somewhat of an allegory of the following books of the Bible--Ezra, Nehemiah, and a few parts of others.

Do you know the story? Maybe, maybe not...it is much lesser known. The books chronicle the events of Nehemiah, Ezra, and Zerubable (I likely spelled that wrong) as they strive to rebuild the wall, temple, and homes of Jerusalem after the Persians burned it. Anyhow, I had a neat idea for a series of books following this story line.

A few weeks before I had one of my best ideas come out of a lesson my youth pastor gave.

And Redemption's Journey came from an educational reading game in combination with my dad's explanation of LOTR.

On top of all this, in the same week, I heard about a neat idea my buddy Jacob Parker came up with from a dream.

And so I got to thinking, where do my ideas mostly come from? Where do most writers' ideas come from?

It seems to me that most of my ideas are coming out of sermons--or any other place I hear someone say something cool. Songs, teachers, anything. People spend forever coming up with just the right analogy for a presentation they are going to give and I like to steal them for story ideas. And as I look over my past as a writer, that seems to be where most of mine are coming from.

So let's get some discussion going. Where do your ideas come from? Do you have any ideas at all? If not, do you want some? Maybe you can try something somebody suggests for your next story.

Let's get chatting.

37 comments:

Pyrosian Heir said...

my ideas come completely from powers that i used to pretend that i had. kept trying to come up with books for them but the only one that was completely original were my twin fire swords. so i took that and expanded it to a whole knighthood. and now here i am with a bookseries in the works... if i manage to ever get the thing written.

~Prism~ said...

It's strange, but almost all of my writings started out as a whole different story. I start one story, but get a related idea that sounds even better, and turns out better than the original would have.

I usually get my original ideas from news articles, dreams, and songs.

God Bless,

~Prism~

Storyteller said...

I love it when ideas just hit! Good for you, Nathan!

I honestly believe that God gives ideas. He is the Creator of creativity and has given humans the power to imagine. Because He is the Creator of creativity, He is also the Controller, so when I need an idea, I pray and ask for it.

Nathan R. Petrie said...

Ben, that's just awesome. Twin fire swords? SWEET! Though I've got one fire sword in mine ::laughs:: I was so mad when in Brsingr the sword burst into flames ::laughs:: But my story will still work ;) And yours sounds awesome :D

Prism, it's funny how that happens isn't it? The evolution of stories is awesome. We as writers sit down after getting struck with an idea and after writing it for a while we are suddenly told...no...that's not how it happened. It was like this...and the better story is told :D
Newsarticles....good idea ;)
I wish I'd have a dream for a story ::laughs:: Would be awesome :D I've got a notebook by my bedside...though I odon't get it use it much lol

ST, right there with ya ;) We're just imitating Him as creators anyhow. I believe all ideas are from Him...How does He give you ideas ST? Or is it lots of ways lol

Jessica said...

Very interesting subject, my stories come from analyzing or struggling with personal experiences,dreams both night and day types, story endings I don't like and last of all occasionally re-writing fairy tales.

Chris said...

I get my story ideas from daydreams, mostly. Some of them are so vivid my arms and legs start shaking. lol
That makes for some awesome visuals that I have a hard time conveying with just the right words.

I usually pray and sleep on it if I can't come up with names for my characters. I've been known to get up in the middle of the night and scramble for a notebook. It happens quite a bit. Most notably my main antagonists name... I dare not utter it here. >_> lol

I've never had one of those dreams that turns into a novel. I've had dreams that I've taken things from, though, but most of the dreams I have are nightmares.

Fiery swords aren't a new thing. They're just as old as Excalibur, actually. I seem to remember a few myths about Arthur... the lady in the lake... idk. Rest assured that Paolini wasn't the first one. ;)

Nathan R. Petrie said...

Jessica, that's a big one for me and I'm sure lots if people. There's a saying, "Write what you know." And as all stories are about life what better to take material from than life?

Chris, all of my names stink. And I'll sadly be changing my main character's name shortly I fear (for the better I think). I've got a few ones that are alright. But some major characters have names like Glorf...and Tir...and stuff like that. Give me a break though...I got the story idea in 4th grade ::laughs::

Yeah...there'll always be swords of fire. Even LOTR had one, Andulil (sp?) Flame of the West, catches fire a few times in the books. Granted...The Sword of Fire, my first novel, isn't the most original idea I think the story is pretty good nonetheless and I've got some pretty sweet stand alone ideas as well as a few seires.

I take back what I said about never getting ideas from dreams...so far I've had one good one...last night. It was about a cave on an island. Interesting place...I wish I had a notebook in the dream lol

Storyteller said...

I bought a notebook to keep by my bed, Chris!

Why, thank you for asking, Nathan! Sometimes I am inspired by other things; I have placed my characters in situations or places similar to ones I have been. I am also inspired by other stories; wanting to recreate a particular feeling that I got from a book or a movie, I will sometimes weave a story around that feeling. But most often ideas come in "Eureka!" moments, usually when I have been mulling and praying over a certain subject for a while.

Nathan R. Petrie said...

ST, OOOH I like that. Trying to recreate a feeling from a movie/book you liked. That's clever lol

I'm loving this :D Keep 'em coming guys...I'm getting some good ideas lol

Seth said...

I'm really not sure, it starts with a spark, from anywhere, even the smallest of places. Then I add some twigs do get some flames out of that spark, then I get bigger and bigger sticks until I've got a whole log burning with ideas. Wow, that made sense to me but I doubt that would make sense to anybody else lol

Nathan R. Petrie said...

So you get your ideas from watching fires? ::laughs:: jk

Nah I follow you. So you're kinda like ST in that you get yours out of the blue?

Silver Angel said...

haha, i get my ideas from going outdoors with my ipod, letting the imagination flow... daydreams and the like... ;)
haha, now if i can just get it all down on paper, that would be neat... :D

SA

Kat Heckenbach said...

My idea for my novel came mainly from wishing when I was a kid that I'd find out I belonged somewhere else, someplace that magic existed. I just sat and wrote the first thing that came into my head, and soon a whole story began to unfold. But the ideas for individual scenes come from all over--dreams (both mine and friends'), objects (like a mirror my Grandmother gave me), things that happened to me in the past, and one scene even came from a leaf landing on my husband's shoulder while we were hiking.

Now and then, I get a short story idea that starts as a title. I'll hear a phrase and think, "That would be a good title...," so I scribble it down, and eventually the story shows up. It's not always what I think it's going to be either ;).

I agree with StoryTeller, though--God is the ultimate source. There are times when I feel like ideas just pop into my head out of nowhere, and there is no other explanation.

This was a cool post! I've enjoyed reading how everyone gets their ideas.

Pyrosian Heir said...

yeah, the expansion is twin wind scimitars, twin water katana, and twin earth broadswords. at least initially. then i decided that i needed light and darkness in the mix so they have light sai (both of these are twin sets btw) and dark shortswords. its very... interesting how its developing. and now i've got my big baddy being in control of time and i'm out of ideas for weapons to use. i already used knives, large daggers actually for a fake darkness set that someone uses but i got nothing else... any suggestions from the crowd on something i haven't thought of? cuz i'm all out. and i already thought of lances but decided against that.

everlastingscribe said...

My ideas tend to come slower, more like I find a theme that I like, and then I begin to add to that theme with things either that I lived through or things I see happening in the world around me. I then take those things, some I like, some I don't, and put them in another place, on another world in another time, and start showing what I believe will be the outcome of things continue on the way they are in this world.

So you could say, I crib from life ;)

Natasha Atkerson said...

I usually get ideas for books from movies, a book I'm reading, or just life! I have a friend in FL, and she and I talk A LOT about our books, so we exchange ideas (shes kind of like my writing buddy or something!) So I'll tell her I'm stuck, or I have this idea or that, and I don't know what to do with it, and she helps me come up with something! Pretty cool!
__________________________________
Interested in a modesty blog? Check out mine! www.natashaatkerson.blogspot.com

Natasha Atkerson said...

I'm also on my 11th page of my latest book, contemplating what name to use....

Nathan R. Petrie said...

Kat, I'm liking the ideas you are posting. For the meantime, I promise not to steal them ;) ::laughs:: And I so get the starting from titles. I often do that with short stories. If I don't...I stink with coming up with titles lol

Ben, do you NEED more weapons? I think you used up all the elements ::laughs::

Scribe, That's clever. I'll use that sometime for sure lol

Natasha, names are awful to come up with ::laughs:: As you can see I'm not very creative ;) And cherish that writing buddy of yours lol...I don't know ANYONE in real life, that I see often, that's a real good writer...at least that's like me. lol

Pyrosian Heir said...

i only need one more type of sword for the time set and then i'll be satisfied. i'm thinking longsword but idk. cuz then i'd have long, short, regular, and broad... so i would really like to be able to do a different kinda thing that doesn't have sword in its name. if nothign else i can always find something on google.

Nathan R. Petrie said...

Rapier? Bo Staff? Long Staff? Depends on the element you want ::laughs::

Perhaps the weapon of one's own hands? o.O

Hmmm what else? Ax, throwing and/or battle-ax. Bow and arrow o.O lol

Marlayne Giron said...

Hi Nathan - Marlayne Giron here. It is really interesting to see how people get their ideas. I think ultimately they are inspired by God and He just uses different vehicles to convey them to us. In my case I had a mental image form in my mind as a result of listening to Amy Grant's song "Fairytale". Much like C.S. Lewis with his image of the Fawn with a red scarf, umbrella and Christmas packages which inspired the Chronicles of Narnia. I sure wish the Lord would hit me over the head with another idea as good as The Victor! So far it seems like a one hit wonder!

Nathan R. Petrie said...

Yeah. It is really interesting :D I'm kinda like you where I get images randomly from messages or songs or anything really.

One hit wonder? Well wonderful it is...but you've got more in ya. I'm sure of it :D

Pyrosian Heir said...

it needs to be a type of sword though but without sword in its name and with how big the swords. the only character that won't have a sword type is gonnabe a character thats a couple books out (assuming i get that far) thats goin to have 2 short lances.

Jessica said...

Pyrosian Heir have you considered a pocket knife? Supposedly they have been around since Rome, antique ones according to another site said that they can be up to 2000 years old....Yeah that is what they said I am not sure if that is true but it's a random idea for you. Have fun!

Jessica said...

BTW this is one of the sight where I got my info if you want to look at it. http://www.wise4living.com/olknives/pocket.htm

I am not sure if it is accurate at all I am completely throwing out the idea for fun

Pyrosian Heir said...

thank you both, very much! i'll check out the web-site and maybe i'll use the knife.

Keriel_Teya said...

I get my inspiration from so many places....

Artwork inspires me, beautiful or deep poetry; philosiphical concepts, the Bible. Sometimes I dream, and an element from the dream wends its way into my story. Music triggers ideas, as does real life experiences, an idea or feeling brushed upon in a story, and a fleeting thought or rhyme that grows and never stops until it has a viable place in the tale.

So that's my long list that only includes the bare minimum.:D (Basically, everything inspires me.)

Gwendolyn

Natasha Atkerson said...

Keriel_Teya, I have to agree with you there! I actually sometimes get ideas from MY artwork! A sketch of a girl holding a bow and arrow can set me off like nobodys buisness! : )

Anna said...

Wow, there so many amazing ways to get ideas here!

Mine usually come from daydreaming. Sometimes a discussion with a sibling will give me an idea. A good portion of ideas also come out of the blue. Music is definitely a good way to fuel creativity.
Sometime just chatting with someone will give me an idea as well.

Ah well, whatever works. We were all created creative. Just make sure you carry pen and pad everywhere you go.

Nathan R. Petrie said...

I'm loving the artwork idea. I've only ever done that once, and I've yet to write the story, but you're all absolutely right. It's great inspiration.

Anna, that's right...EVERYWHERE ::laughs:: My parents make fun of me for doing that lol

Wayne Leeke said...

My ideas come to me when I'm not thinking about finding ideas. By the time I get around to writing about them, they ether sound stupid on paper or I forget about them completly.

Anonymous said...

I love all of your ideas, everybody! This is so great!

Most of my ideas will be from my history lesson or I'll just have this "Eureka!" moment. For instance, I'll be sitting in church, then this idea pops into my mind from something the pastor said or something I was just randomly thinking about. I'll start squirming in my seat, ask my sister for a piece of her paper, and tell myself to listen until it's done and I can get into the car and write! A lot of times, I'll just be in my bed trying to go to sleep and my mind wanders. I remember once in choir, the teacher said somthing about another name for God in a different language, and I was like, DUDE!!! Cool!

Does anyone here really THINK about their characters, or do they just base them off of different people? I've been trying to make up a reason that my antagonist is bad, but I can't really think of one. Any help?

daughteroflight

Jessica said...

Characters are something that I usually take great time to develop sometimes they just spring upon me from no where but usually I develop/get the story line and Hero/ine at about the same time. From there more character's develop as the story needs them.

Villains/antagonist are very difficult to develop, I am working on recreating my "necessary evil" character who is not strong enough, as my friends say. He just doesn't come off thoroughly bad. So here are some ideas from them that you might find helpful. They tend to be sinister, snake like, dashingly handsome, grotesque, vengeful, bitter, ruthless.

Pyrosian Heir said...

while most of my characters are based off of people that i know initially, they tend to take on dimensions that the real person doesn't have.
as for the baddies, they are a very different thing. i haven't really tried to explain the background of my main villain yet because of the lack of need, but i have a general idea of what its going to have to be. well for the grand-daddy of all bad guys. the rest i haven't worked on yet.

Nathan R. Petrie said...

DOL, seems you get your ideas much the same way I do. Cool :) lol

Let's hold off on Character chatting, that's my next blog post. And I think you guys will have some cool things to say lol

Rien.Tel said...

Pyrosian Heir: There's always the Claymore. Those are some whopping big swords though.

I wonder what it is with flaming swords? 'Cause I've got one in my book too. Nine of them eventually but only two are around at the moment.

I get my ideas primarily from hynms. My first book (just finished, harrah!) "Sword Aflame," is based off the hymn "Faith is the Victory" because it sounded like a battle cry. The second in the series is based off "Be Thou my Vision" and the third "And Can it Be." Another will be based off "Eternal Father." Verses of those songs just sound like there's a story lingering behind them!

Nathan R. Petrie said...

Awesome Rien! I've been wanting to write a novel off of "Better is One Day". I think there's some awesome ideas from that lol.

I'd love to read your book :) Let me know when it hits the shevles ;) lol

"Stand tall now and proclaim what you have seen, speak in whispered roars..."