I don't typically write fantasy or surrealist fiction but several years ago I took a writing class and one of the daily prompts produced this little story. Not something I would have devised on my own, but apparently it was in my head someplace because it emerged easily onto the page.
POTION LOTION Knee high by the Fourth of July.
That’s how many strands of red licorice I had collected for my patriotic
installation at the campus art gallery. Now I needed materials in blue and
white and they had to come by the color naturally, I wasn’t allowed to paint
anything and I only had two hours left to finish the piece in time. I ran down
the hall of the dorm pounding on doors. “Wake up! Get to the lounge! I need
help!” “What do you want now?” It was five o’clock in the morning
but my dorm mates were used to my ill-timed bursts of creative energy. They
dragged themselves down to the lounge. I looked at the sleepy hung-over
congregation of students and begged. “Please, I need all your aspir…
The question writers get asked the most often is, "where do you get your ideas?" For poets, short story writers, and novelists who write a book a year or several series a year the need for ideas is a constant. How do they have ideas for so many stories or poems?
For me, ideas are like rabbits.
They multiply at a rapid rate. And in the same way that rabbits create more rabbits, ideas create more ideas and the more I have the more I get. Craft books are profuse with ways to get story ideas: BrainstormRead newspapersObserve people in the cafePlay the "what if" gameEavesdrop on conversations Each of those methods is helpful and can elicit an array of story or character ideas for your writing. I have on occasion used a few myself. Mostly, however, I don't search for ideas, they find me. And just like those fertile little bunnies, ideas increase exponentially. They float in thin air and crawl inside my ear. They arise from some cells deep within me and gnaw at my brain un…