I've been asked, as have so many other creatives...
"How do you come up with your ideas for things you write?"
Well...I have a thought, I put pen to paper, fingers to keyboard and, produce. I heard an author once say that the difference between hobbyists or amateurs and professional writers is the latter writes down their good ideas for later and they throw away, nothing. Saving it for a future story. Not infrequently it happens at bedtime, so I keep a notepad by my bed. Or I may get up and go to my keyboard and writer it out, dumping it all into a file for later.
I have a file on my laptop and desktop for ideas and another for titles. I have an "ideas" folder in my short story, screenplay and my novel folders.
A spark happens, an idea hits me, the framework for that idea shoots through a tunnel into the future in my mind, in a multi dimensional pathway from concept to fruition. That journey into a new reality begins. As I write, the structure further reveals itself to me. Logic and satiation fill in the cracks and crevices as I experience the story unfolding within and before me.
At some point I hit a juxtaposition, or a void. At that point I have emptied my mental and creative buffers and need to come up with something new. And that I think, is what interests people.
Brian Eno, once of Roxy Music fame and then from his own, studied art for a short time. He and his cohorts were like many others at the time interested in John Cage's book Silence (1961). Music can be art and why cannot one listen to a waterfall or the wind and experience the same euphoria one could get from say, Beethoven? Eno getting involved with Robert Fripp and his with King Crimson were all expansions of previous leanings.
Six Melodies, by John Cage.
I was very into avant garde and experimental music since my childhood in the 1960s, as well as some classical, pop (as a kid) and much rock music. From as far back as I can remember I have been attracted to the unique and unusual and the beautiful. I didn't even hear of the aesthetic of the ugly until the late 1980s and it went against everything I had believed in to that point. Yet, I had loved horror films and books and I did get it on a visceral level.
I bring all this up because of the need and desire for creativity, for uniqueness and the unknown and for the fascinating. It is a quest always for more and beyond.
Concepts like the synthesis of systems and ideas, the dynamic rearrangement of information, the rearrangement of the echoes of one sense upon or in place of another or synesthesitic observations, all organized to be highly pleasurable and\or productive have always fascinated me. And yet again and again I find myself falling back into formal structures.
And so I continue to bide my time, to explore, and to strive for that uniqueness that I hope one day to uncover. And of course, to share.
A good example of this in my catalog of writings is in my latest novella, "The Unwritten" coming out in the sequel to my first book to be titled, Anthology of Evil II. In the novella, I decided initially to take three disparate universes and write about them, then at some point bring them all together in some way. That is all I had to start with.
It was a singular journey that took me two years to finalize. Once I returned to it, my mind having had worked on it in the dark recesses of thought over the period of my putting off writing the last half of the story, had worked much of it out, unbeknownst to me. It flowed out of me onto the page and it somehow all came together.
That is the way of it so very often.
I had studied what creativity is during my university years. I felt crippled, unable to be creative. Until I realized what it is. Creation. The more you have to bring to that creation, the more you learn in life, the more you practice things, the more interesting and useful will be your creations.
My point being, learn your craft. Learn all you can about everything. Try to experience and produce all types of, all forms of whatever your craft is. And then... the creative happens. It will happen.
Bring your creative voice, or vision to us. Because we want to see it.