I got another review of Ribbon of Darkness today from Heather Moore, an author that I admire and respect. If you want to read it, you can do so here.
Also, have you entered to win a free copy of Ribbon of Darkness yet? If not, you should by clicking here.
Last week I had the opportunity to attend the Book Academy conference. The keynote speaker was Dan Wells, and if you like horror fiction, then he is the author for you. He has written, I Am Not a Serial Killer, Mr. Monster, and I Don’t Want to Kill You all available on Amazon here. I want to read them myself, but frankly, I'm sort of a scaredy-cat and haven't gotten up the guts to open the Dan Wells book I own. I mean, even the cover looks scary! (I know, I know, it's silly. I'm working on it.)
Dan began his keynote and honestly, his sense of humor caught me a little off-guard. I haven’t laughed that much in a long time. He has such an easy style and really brought the writing process down to earth.
One thing he talked about in his keynote was coming up with ideas. He said that we should be coming up with five story ideas per day, and a few of the people at my table shook their heads. Five? That seems like a lot. But then Dan told us one of the easiest ways to come up with a story idea is to take something normal and put it with something strange. He threw out something normal to the audience, like “buying a dog,” and then the audience members came up with something strange. And boy, did they ever get strange! Radioactive urine that made the grass grow incredibly high and then little people emerged. A dog that can give anyone who pets it superpowers, the dog is an alien, the dog is wanted for a code on its dogtag, the dog is wanted because it’s an assassin dog, the list went on and on. It was fascinating to see how quickly one little idea spread into at least fifty others by just mashing the normal with the strange. It really made the idea of coming up with five story ideas per day more manageable.
That said, I haven’t written down five story ideas a day since the conference, but I think I could. Story ideas go through my head all the time and I have the beginnings of a lot of stories on my computer, but I really like having the normal smashed with strange speech in the back of my mind since that could make my story that much more interesting.
What about you? Do you keep ideas written on your computer or in a journal somewhere? How do you come up with your ideas? And if I gave you one normal thing, like, say, a hairbrush, what strange thing would you come up with to make a story?