Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Amazing Writing Advice #18: Getting Ideas

Quite often I get asked by people, like chatroom bots and stuffed penguins, 'Where do you get your ideas?'

The answer to this is simple. I get my ideas by stealing them*.

 How do I steal ideas? Well I don't both going to writing groups and stealing ideas from them. They'll be no good. You need to steal ideas from published books. Wholesale. And this is how you do it without getting caught:

1) Pick a bestselling book, I'm going to use Game of Thrones. This is a badly written fantasy novel that did surprisingly well. People obviously have a taste for kinky incestuous sex and 13 year old girls with dragons.

2) Change the setting. Make it somewhere quite different, don't just move some of the letters in the name around. Everyone will guess where you got the idea for Hagworts from. So I'm going to set my book in an 7th floor call centre.

3) Change the characters names and other details, like what they do. Game of Thrones has lots of people with daft fantasy names like Daenerys Targaryen. What were her parents thinking? I'll change her to Dani Trout. Obviously an exiled princess would be out of place in an office so I'm going to make her a secretary. Her exile translates into her having to go out at lunch to buy everyone's sandwiches. She also has a bunch of dragons in Game of Thrones, these I'll turn into photocopiers.

4) Change the title, I've decided to go for, 'Game of Phones'. It's just different enough not to get you sued. Probably.

And there it is! A perfect new idea which will need the minimum of writing! But don't steal my ideas or I'll kneecap you.

Cheers,

Mark

*And drinking copious amounts of absinthe, which is what makes the stuffed penguins talk.