How to Get Ideas for Writing

In every writing class and workshop I’ve ever been to, at least one person has asked the teacher “where do you get your ideas?” They usually respond with varying degrees of derision, and move on asap. But, as Neil Gaiman stated in his Master Class on Storytelling (amazing listen, btw) that question: “where do you get your ideas?” is actually fundamental to the art and craft of storytelling.

This lead me to the book “Been There, Done That: Writing Stories From Real Life” edited by Mike Winchell. This unique (to my knowledge) collection gathers authors, telling in their own words the real life events that resulted in the creation of the following, included short stories. It was amazing to see how proficient writers take normal-ish events from their daily life and turn them into interesting stories. It shows not only how they are following the old advice to “write what you know,” but also how they elaborate, embellish and imagine wonderful stories from the mundane to create wonderful stories.

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