2. Getting From Idea to Story

Page 3 of 8 | Where Do You Get Ideas? | Many Shapes | Collect and Remember | Now What? | Writing Is a Process |
| Tools You Need | Plagiarism—Don't! | Brainstorm |

Collect and Remember
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The key to having a good pool of ideas is to be alert for them, and to collect them. Write them down! Keep them in one place!
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Save your mistakes! Typos can be a great source of made-up words for the science fiction or fantasy (SF/F) writer. And slips of the tongue or eye can be valuable, too. I once misread a newspaper ad for "Realty School," a school for real estate agents, as "Reality School." Oops! I felt a little silly. But I remembered the slip, and out of it came a story about kids who learn to reshape reality—at "Reality School."
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Use your experiences! Whatever stage of life you're at, look back at things you remember. I looked back at my experiences as a high school wrestler when I wrote "Shapeshifter Finals."

A fantasy writer I know, Craig Shaw Gardner, mines his childhood all the time. He wrote an entire humorous fantasy trilogy (the Cineverse series) that came straight out of his misspent youth, as he puts it, watching every trashy B movie that came along.

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Revenge of the Fluffy Bunnies
In summary . . .dragon

• Read, read, read.

• Collect your ideas. Guard them like a dragon.

• Look for the unexpected.

• Write about what you know.

• Write about what you don't know, but want to learn.

• Use your dreams, interests, longings.

 
 

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