One of the questions I get asked often is “Where do you get your story ideas?”
Usually I shrug and say “Life.” Surprisingly they’re not satisfied with that answer, so I sat down and tried to determine where my story ideas come from. This forced me to examine my own thought processes and believe me, that is a dangerous place to be. (Large, hollow, dark, echoing spaces.)
Finally I wrestled an answer from myself and the ‘they’ are not going to like it very much. My answer is a question, but it is the biggest question in the world. It has lead to the most amazing scientific discoveries and it is the greatest story spark known to man.
I’ll give you an example. Picking up a tabloid magazine in a Doctor’s office and reading an article on Dr Ray Brown’s report of finding crystal pyramids in the middle of the Bermuda Triangle. (Apparently this report has been debunked as a fraud…but only by some).
Now if I was a ‘they’, I’d close the magazine and move on. But I’m not a ‘they’, I am a writer. So, of course, that one tiny question formed in the back of my mind and exploded the universe with possibilities.
- What if…the underwater pyramids were home to mermaids and they only erupted from the earth’s surface every such-a-such cycle so they could gather mates?
- What if…the pyramids on land were a rough draft and the underwater pyramids actually communicated with aliens?
- What if…the land and sea pyramids were a transport device?
- What if… Dr Ray Brown was actually the only person in the world who could see them because he was the ‘chosen one’ by creatures in a fantasy realm?
So the next time someone asks me “Where do you get your story ideas?”, I’ll try to remember to reply “By asking, What if…?”