Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Amazing Writing Advice #26: The Idea Stalker


I hear people cry, wherever I go, high and low.


I hear people cry.

Enough! Enough, dodgy rhymes and all-caps shouting. I will tell you how to find ideas, for I AM THE IDEA STALKER.


Lots of people say they don't know where their ideas come from, this is clearly a lie. Ideas can be found quite easily. But not in places, they are found in activities. These activities are generally ones that require your full attention. During these times random parts of your brain will fire off amazing ideas and insights!

You'll also find the more dangerous the activity (for yourself or other people) the better the ideas you'll have. Probably. Here are some activities that you'll find good for generating ideas, in increasing danger order:

  • Driving.
  • Driving in a car chase.
  • Undertaking brain surgery.
  • Undertaking brain surgery on the pilot of a jumbo jet as he tries to land the plane. Which is full of snakes.
  • Sidling past zombies.
  • Sidling past zombies holding a stack of cymbals.
  • Carving a pumpkin.
  • Giving an honest opinion to a loved one about how they are dressed.
Now you laugh, straight at my face, your most scornful laugh and tell me you've done these things but still no ideas come.

But I tell you they do. However, either you forget them as you are concentrating so hard or you don't know how to spot an idea.

So firstly if you are forgetting your ideas; you must immediately note them down. This can be difficult! Especially on a rain swept motorway at 3am in the morning. BUT YOU MUST.

Sorry. Again.

Still, note them down or they will drain through the cracks of your mind. Never trust the thought that tells you you can remember it. It is a traitor and the idea will be lost. Note that idea down, carve it onto the face of a  pumpkin or zombie. Stitch it into the head of the pilot as you finish up. Tell it to the loved one, which has the added bonus of changing the subject.

How to spot an idea? This is tricky due to their abstract nature. But if you suck the abstract essence from them they would look like this:
An idea with its abstractness removed

That is all the guidance I can give you. I must go now, go back to the idea stalking.

Alternatively this t-shirt slogan may be closer to the truth:

Congratulations if you made it to the end, buy yourself some Frazzles!



P.S. IDEA STALKER! Get it? It's the hat, it's a deer stalker. Idea stalker, deer stalker? See? Oh, go away.