People often ask me where do I get my ideas. I can tell you that most of the ones that are in my books and are in planning for future books have all come from dreams that I have had over the last twenty or so years. You see, I am a person who has some pretty vivid dreams. About the only drugs that I do are coffee and tea, or whatever I am prescribed by my doctor (which I don’t like to take to be honest). I’ve even heard that I should drink alcohol or do some trippy drug to be a better writer, but I’ve heard way too many horror stories about rehab, so no thanks. Besides, I’m pretty weird already, so adding to that would not be pleasant.
I learned a long time ago that I need to keep a notebook on my nightstand, I don’t. I should, it might be easier, but I use my phone or my tablet because they’re readily available. Luckily, I’ve had to great fortune to be able to remember most of them. They usually happen in the morning about the time I’m going to wake up anyway, so I just kept repeating the dream over and over in my mind until I could recall all the details so when I do get the chance I could write down everything. Most of the time, I don’t even need to do that because I’ve memorized it so well. I could even remember several dreams to this day and could recite them as I remembered them. If only I could remember that much for other stuff that my loving wife wants me to remember (I do remember birthdays and anniversaries very well).
The first thing I do when I begin a new project (and I’ve started at least five) is look at my long list of ideas. Sometimes, I am able to use just one, but most of the time, I end up using several as they tend to tie together nicely. That is not to say that I’ll run out sooner. Far from it. I dream just about every night and, though not every night is a keeper, there are enough bits and pieces that I can remember that I add to my ever-growing list.
Coincidentally, after my first novel was finished, I had thought that my idea well had gone dry despite this list of mine. It was merely a panic attack because, after a few days, the floodgates opened and, once again, I had an overabundance of ideas flowing. And they haven’t stopped since.
The first draft, that ultimately ended up being in Copper Rain, was started with a dream I had about twenty or so years ago. Now I can’t say that the book came one hundred percent from that dream. In fact, most of it did not go into that book. The seed of the idea and the characters were in it. The original dream was in the very first draft I wrote, but after learning quite a bit about writing a novel, I ended up breaking up that idea into several ideas and those were what ended up in the first book. Parts of the next book and maybe even to the fifth book are going to include the bits and pieces I pulled out of the original idea.
To date, I have built the world in my head. I know most of the valleys, mountain peaks, deserts, prairies, town, villages, and cities. There are also eight worlds below the Surface, as the gnomes who created them call it. So I not only have the stories on the Surface world, I have eight worlds below that are full of their own stories. That’s quite a few story ideas without having to even delve into my trove of ideas.
I hope you can find your ideas and hold onto them until you can use them. As always, thanks for reading and happy writing.