Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Neil Gaiman: Where do you get your ideas? a ISWG post



Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!




Neil Gaiman is a writer who has crosses many different paths. He has influenced countless writers over the years. I am partial to his contributions to Doctor Who The Doctor's Wife. I recently read an Essay from his website and would like to share some of it with you.
You can read it in its entirety:

Neil Gaiman's work has been honoured with many awards internationally, including the Newbery and Carnegie Medals. His books and stories have also been honoured with 4 Hugos, 2 Nebulas, 1 World Fantasy Award, 4 Bram Stoker Awards, 6 Locus Awards, 2 British SF Awards, 1 British Fantasy Award, 3 Geffens, 1 International Horror Guild Award and 2 Mythopoeic Awards.


When asked to speak to his daughters class, who is seven, he had some great things to say that apply to every age.

"You get ideas from daydreaming. You get ideas from being bored. You get ideas all the time. The only difference between writers and other people is we notice when we're doing it. "  

I don't know about you, but I tend to daydream when I'm bored. Now if I can write it down it would be half the battle.

All fiction is a process of imagining: whatever you write, in whatever genre or medium, your task is to make things up convincingly and interestingly and new. 
And when you've an idea - which is, after all, merely something to hold on to as you begin - what then? Well, then you write. You put one word after another until it's finished - whatever it is. 


He makes it sound so easy, and I guess in a way it is. I have lots of zany ideas that are too crazy to put down, but if I start then maybe I could get somewhere no matter how improbable the idea is.

 Where do I get my ideas from? 
I make them up. 
Out of my head.  



Where do you get your ideas?

36 comments:

  1. Neil Gaiman is, quite simply, awesome.
    Yep, my ideas come from anywhere and everywhere, but especially from daydreaming. Often we're too busy to daydream, which is kinda tragic.

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  2. He gets his ideas bouncing on a trampoline.

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  3. My ideas come from music and movies.
    Good thing Neil isn't a big fat guy...

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  4. That's a whole lotta Hugos!

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  5. I get a lot of my ideas on the toilet.

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  6. I have a medical condition that lets me daydream...ok I just like to daydream!

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  7. I never did well on the trampoline. When I was young I fell off onto my bike.
    Lets just say I stayed away to prevent further damage.

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  8. He is awful close to the ground. ;-)

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  9. I guess he puts them on display in a room dedicated to awards.

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  10. When I was young, my dad turned our bathroom into a library.

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  11. My ideas come from everywhere and anywhere. I have *too* many ideas. The problem is, the darn things don't come with a plot! I have to work like heck for that.


    I also love The Doctor's Wife. One of my very favorites episodes!

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  12. I totally understand working for the plot.
    If I could UPVOTE you like 12 more times for The Doctor's Wife, I would. ;-)

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  13. A Neil Gaiman post has enough inspiration in it to last the rest of the week. Good topic.

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  14. Thanks. it amazes me how much talent some people have.

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  15. Gaiman really is an inspiration, isn't he? I tend to get my ideas from all over the place--songs and books, and lately NPR's radio programming (never would have thought of that had I not found myself utterly hooked on Science Friday, haha!).

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  16. Well you are the Anthropology Queen! ;-)

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  17. Gaiman is really a role model in so many ways. I wish I had been in the classroom when he talked to the children about where he got his ideas. Lovely post. Great gif. :-)

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  18. I wonder if they had a trampoline for him to jump on in class? ;-)

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  19. Most of my inspiration comes from the other arts and media. TV, comics, movies, music, etc. Then, my day-to-day interactions fuel them. I eavesdrop on a lot of random conversations. :) Neil on a trampoline FTW! :D

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  20. "I eavesdrop on a lot of random conversations"

    What your telling me is to join the NSA...;-)
    Neil does look rather comfortable jumping.

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  21. Everywhere. I never know what's going to pop up or when.

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  22. Kinda like like those pesky gophers!

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  23. That's a great point David. He's such a prolific writer he must dream all the time. He's also written a lot about dreaming

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  24. The Doctor:
    You didn't always take me where I wanted to go.

    Idris:
    No, but I always took you where you needed to go.


    He explained the entire franchise in two lines of dialogue. It just makes you want to melt.

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  25. This is one of the best episodes in all of Doctor Who!

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  26. The Blue GrumpsterAugust 7, 2014 at 11:31 AM

    You have zany ideas? That's a shocker. I need to lie down for a moment ;)

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  27. May I fluff your pillow sir? Or offer you a refreshing glass of Dandelion Wine?

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  28. I get ideas anywhere, generally when my mind is lying fallow like when I'm bored, taking a walk, or in the shower. So many good ideas come in the shower.

    Thanks for the link. I really liked the bits you pulled out and want to see the whole thing.

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  29. The only Idea I get in the shower is soap in my eyes...
    The whole essay is quit good i know you'll enjoy it.

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  30. Don't sell yourself short. I agree that we all have ideas. And isn't fiction supposed to be improbable?

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  31. We have to daydream... Life is too intense and stressful. One needs the escape... Ideas come to me in dreams, walking through the zoo/park, or along the lakes edge. Inspiration can hit anywhere like a thunderbolt...

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  32. Nice! Maybe I need to to strap a lightning rod to my hat....or maybe not!!

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  33. I get a lot of ideas from life. Then I just play with them in my head until I have a good story.

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  34. Family has a way of of playing with my head! ;-)

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