Where Do You Get Your Ideas?

One of the more common questions people ask is: “Where do you get your ideas?”

For me, most stories come from the everyday things I see in my daily travels. Often a few unrelated events will come together in my mind at the same time, a character appears, and the story starts to tell itself. The stories often just spring to life, all on their own.

For example, there’s a strange house in our neighborhood, one that doesn’t quite fit in:

Every now and then, when I’m walking our dogs, I see a pale boy pacing around the back yard of this house, talking to himself:

A few months ago, they put bubble wrap in all of their windows:

A few weeks ago, they put a giant wooden owl on the front step, blocking access to the front door:

Finally, two nights ago, I was walking the dogs in the dark during a torrential downpour. As I passed this house, I realized the yard and sidewalk were swarming with giant earthworms, the biggest I had ever seen:

There were thousands of them, and what made this really strange was one simple fact: I walked the dogs for two miles that night and there was not a single earthworm to be seen anywhere else in the neighborhood.  Not one.

When you put those five things together, you start to set the stage for a pretty strange story, don’t you think? You do if you’re wired like me, at least.

So, where do my ideas come from?

I have absolutely no idea.


  1. YIKES!!!!

    Then again, what snips revolve in clear view, disturbing stuff if fed to the muse with spices.

    Thanks for the open door…don’t feel so weird anymore.

  2. Hey Brian! I enjoyed your blog today. Thank you for being honest about where you get your ideas from. I must say that your system works, because all your stories are great! I’m still working on a story I started around Christmas. Thanks for all the usefull advice that you have given me over the last two years. I appreciate your friendship. You always answer my emails, and as busy as you are, I truly appreciate that. Looking forward to your next blog.

    Your writing pal in Ventura, California,
    Mike Limon

  3. This is awesome! Definitely the makings of a good scary story. It goes to show how daily surroundings come in to play when forming our story ideas.

    I read The Painted Darkness, by the way, and I really enjoyed it.

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