Where Do You Get Your Ideas?

When I was in college, I let my friend Kathie read early versions of Bo and Blade’s story. Without fail, when she finished reading my most recent pages she would look up at me and ask, “Where do you get this stuff?”

That’s a question I’ve been asked a lot as a writer. Ideas and inspiration come from so many sources, it’s hard to narrow them all down. Some are an amalgam of several completely unrelated bits and pieces, others I can trace with pinpoint accuracy to their inspiration.

Here are a few lines from SOVRAN’S PAWN along with the images and places that inspired them —

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“…Bo absently studied the domes and spires of Cormoran’s skyline. “

University of Tampa/Cultural Arts District – photo by Matthew Paulson

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“Because with the sun behind you like it is, your dress is virtually transparent.”

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“…Bo…followed the hostess as she rounded the corner to the east side of the terrace overlooking the glistening bay. Colorful boats danced across the waves. The view was breathtaking. “

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“Brilliant sunlight spilled through the massive wall of large-paned windows that lined the gallery. Behind his sunshades, Blade’s eyes flicked over the parade of Marin ancestors whose portraits lined the opposite wall. “

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“He stepped out onto the sidewalk from the mass-transit station, leaving the cloying odor of exhaust fumes mixed with stale urine behind him. “

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These are just a few of the images and places that have inspired scenes, settings, and even story lines.  Movies, television, magazine articles, paintings, music videos, off-handed comments from friends and family all have made their way into my subconscious and my writing.

There are several more I could post today, but there are some things I just don’t want to share.

Where do you get YOUR ideas?