How do you come up with your best ideas?

Started by Firebolt May 22nd, 2021 8:31 AM
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Firebolt

Age 23
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Land Down Under
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Plain and simple; how do you come up with your best ideas for a story or fanfiction you are currently writing/have written? Do you have a ritualistic brainstorming session you turn to in your hour of need? Or do you start Googling stuff until something jumps out at you?

Personally, as cliche as it sounds, I feel like my best ideas come to me while I'm zoned out in the shower. There's just something about having nothing but time with my thoughts with no distractions, it inspires (inspired?) everything from character arcs to love triangles and plot twists I hadn't even considered before. Shame ya can't use a pen and paper under the water!

Vragon2.0

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Posted August 20th, 2021
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3.6 Years
Mostly when I'm bouncing off ideas to others or even explaining stuff in my stories to them. There's that sort of multi-thread bit going on where I think during the talk and my mind goes, "Hey this might be a good idea." Course, it can also happen when I'm digesting some story, game I'm playing, or movie and get more directly inspired.

Doesn't have to be fiction-related either. Sometimes it's just a random idea that pops into my head during data filling or working and sometimes I get an idea of how to write what I'm currently writing better (which feels like a pain but generally is worth it in the end).

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Bay

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My ideas would often be with me consuming media and just be inspired with ideas for it. That then would lead to"What if?" and "What happens next/what happened before?" questions. For instance, with Foul Play it started with "What if Nanu and Grimsley interacted?" and then snowballed from there.

I tend to also generate ideas while walking and listening to music.
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CiCi

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My best ideas can come from me trying to sleep when I'm not particularly tired (if I'm exhausted, I don't usually have time to think about writing before I'm conked out). Unfortunately, this also means that I'm constantly grabbing for my phone to write ideas down so I don't forget them in the morning, which keeps me awake for longer.

I can also get some good ideas while listening to music, as long as I'm not doing much of anything else -- riding in the car or walking is the best way for ideas to flow while I'm listening to music.

And finally, I can get some of my best ideas when I'm drawing and listening to a podcast or video game playthrough on YouTube. It's where I become the most zen and can let my brain do whatever it feels like. Plus, it's very relaxing and enjoyable, which I think helps my brain get creative.
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Sonata

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Usually my better ideas (and of course consequently the ones that never end up getting used since I'm afraid of doing them a disservice by writing them out at the moment) just come to me randomly. Other ideas are based on personal experiences or random thought threads that I fuse in with other things and twist until it resembles something else more interesting.

When I'm actually looking for ideas I typically turn to religion. There is a lot that can be taken from these older stories and spiced up with a more modern coat of paint to create something fun and interesting.

Firebolt

Age 23
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Land Down Under
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My best ideas can come from me trying to sleep when I'm not particularly tired (if I'm exhausted, I don't usually have time to think about writing before I'm conked out). Unfortunately, this also means that I'm constantly grabbing for my phone to write ideas down so I don't forget them in the morning, which keeps me awake for longer.
Holy butter, this has to be the worst! Nothing quite like trying to sleep but your thoughts swarm your head like flies in summer.

Hyzenthlay

Endurer of Eons

Age 21
Rito Village
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My best ideas usually come to me when I'm zoned out with a task that only requires muscle memory, no actual thought or concentration. My imagination also buzzes when I'm falling asleep or just waking up! I've had so many great ideas first thing in the morning but I can't write them down in time so I often forget. T^T

A good story, whether it's a video game, movie or book, definitely helps as well! And I get so much inspiration looking through landscape/OC art. ^ ^
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gimmepie

Age 26
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Australia
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My ideas honestly just kinda come to me. Sometimes the media I'm watching at the time or music I'm listening to serves as inspiration, but just as often my ideas comes out of nowhere.

Someone made a topic about an plot idea and I snatched it. Easy does it.
I don't think you should just take other's ideas and claim them as your own. At least ask permission.
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Adam Levine

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I'm a "monkey see, monkey do" kinda guy: I look at a pretty picture or watch or listen to something that gives me an idea I think is neat. Sadly that means I'm not good at originality, especially because I don't consume enough media for me to recognize whether something I'm creating is original or not. I'm not good at forcing myself to come up with an idea, because when I do it just doesn't satisfy me. I'm more focused on art than writing, but this "style" of mine is present in most of my creative endeavors. Great artists steal, after all.

TagusKnoll

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I think my only thought process behind my ideas is just... What would 13-year old me like to read? and then I go and make it. I don't have much else behind that. Hence why it ends up a complete mess full of my recent hyperfixations modeling the story.

adventure

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I often get inspired by some event or some other media, and spontaneously think of new characters and personalities in relation to settings. Once characters are formed, honestly some storylines just write themselves around those. But yeah, as some others have said, zoning out when doing something mundane is definitely a time for idea fountaining ahah. Or when I'm walking somewhere.

RadEmpoleon

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Ironically (and inconveniently), when I sit down and finally decide to write, I draw a blank. I might have some random ideas floating around in my head, but nothing really conceptualizes into a clear idea. Usually I have to find writing prompts online to stimulate an idea.
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Palamon

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Honestly, they just come to me! Most of my idea ideas involve magic, though, or are dark, and those are usually my best works, but they definitely just come to me, I don't have a process, but I do plan entire plots before writing them.
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gimmepie

Age 26
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Ironically (and inconveniently), when I sit down and finally decide to write, I draw a blank. I might have some random ideas floating around in my head, but nothing really conceptualizes into a clear idea. Usually I have to find writing prompts online to stimulate an idea.
Have you tried writing your ideas down when you have them so you can revisit them later?
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Yume Tsuki

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They usually just come to me at me at night when I'm trying to sleep, or when showering, or maybe even while cycling to a place. Just so many thoughts go through my mind in those moments. I keep my phone near so I can quickly jot them down before i forget. No matter how stupid they may sound. I do honestly want one of those shower notepads I see around for convenience. >_>;;

Though I generally take notes for projects I'm already working on, like my comic.

And when I'm sitting down writing script I just usually go with it. And when I start drawing a blank, I will either try to push further if I got any specific plot point I really want to work in. Or I just take a break from it. I feel like it helps to just have something written down, even if it's not as good. Because you can always revisit it when writing the scene again, and next time you have a better idea on what you want out of it because theres less of other things to think about, since those are already enstablished.

I rewrite a whole chapter worth of script at least 5 times before I start processing it into a comic, and with every version it just gradually gets better and better.

IV

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I've generally obtained ideas after I played video games for a while, or browse through a bunch of YGO cards I have lying around... though those ideas generally tend to be forgotten or never used ever :(
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For me, it was travelling. Whenever we would visit the beach I would stare at the ocean and wonder what the world was like on the other side, then one day I finally crossed it and found out.

Seeing different places in the US and now having been to 100 countries with some pretty amazing places in each one gave me a lot of ideas. It also helped that I met people from all corners of the globe and listened to their perception of the world.
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