So Where DO You Get Your Story Ideas?

The short but incomplete answer seems to be “everywhere.”  Or as Ursula Le Guin once remarked, turning the question back on her interviewer, “Where do you not get them?”  They’re all around, all the time. Despite this, show me the beginning writer who has not, at one time or another, bemoaned the fact that they want to write so very badly but don’t have the slightest clue as to what to write about. This makes them feel stupid and resentful. I know. I remember. One could pile on like a rat bastard by simply saying “If you can’t think of anything, then you’re probably not a writer. Give it up.”  That not only shows a meanness of spirit but, more to the point, it’s simply not true.  Beginners, like almost every other sentient human being, have lots of ideas. The actual problem is they don’t know which of them are stories. Continue reading