The Ideas-Market, by Jane Lovering

Well, here I am again! And, as I promised, I’m here to answer another question – this one has been asked probably to every writer, ever, and also to me…
‘Where do you get your ideas from?’

Sometimes I say ‘a little shop in York, 50p a dozen, bargain’. Sometimes I say ‘the same place you get your ideas from’. Sometimes, if I’m caught in the depths of whimsy, I might explain all about the street-market that can only be found at certain times, by certain people; a place where they sell ideas – ships in bottles, mourning hats, tears ranked by size and cause…

But really, where do I get my ideas from? Honestly, I don’t know. I think it starts with a vague thought, which wafts around for a bit and then kicks off a whole host of ‘what ifs’, which have to be followed up. Hubble Bubble was inspired by me wondering about witchcraft and general psychology (having managed to convince some people that they’d just seen me walk through a solid wall, I was interested to see just how much you can make someone believe something that they REALLY WANT to believe). And then I wondered about the human need to control their environment, the desire to ascribe things to ‘magic’ that are simply poorly-understood phenomina, all woven in with discussions about feelings of abandonment and the sheer claustrophobic nature of winter in North Yorkshire. We’d also been talking about granting of wishes – if you made a wish, what would you wish for, if you thought your life was already pretty good? Money? But that can ruin things… good health? But if you’re already healthy it’s hard to imagine ever being any other way…

Somehow, all this shook down into a story about amateur witchcraft, and wishes either coming true in various, unforeseeable ways, or human wish-fulfillment fantasies making people think that wishes can come true.

Can they? Is there really magic out there in the world? I think Hubble Bubble lets you decide that for yourself…

And, just in case you think that the weather description is overdone in Hubble Bubble…here’s a picture of the view from my bathroom window, one day last winter. And this was a LIGHT snowfall!

church

14 thoughts on “The Ideas-Market, by Jane Lovering

  1. Hi Jane,
    It is surprising the way ideas happen. I find soaking in the bath lets my imagination run wild. Or when I’m walking down the street. A few weeks ago, I was walking to the bus stop in my towncentre, when my character’s started talking to me. I promptly got on the bus, and ended up halfway home, before realising, I was on the wrong bus! Still it gave me some good dialogue.

  2. Hi Jane,
    It is surprising the way ideas happen. I find soaking in the bath lets my imagination run wild. Or when I’m walking down the street. A few weeks ago, I was walking to the bus stop in my towncentre, when my character’s started talking to me. I promptly got on the bus, and ended up halfway home, before realising I was on the wrong bus!

  3. Trains, that’s my tip – go on train journeys and along inspiration will come, together with a wagon selling rubbish coffee. It worked for J K Rowling!

  4. I don’t have any problems with ideas, it’s capturing them in words that’s the tricky bit!

  5. Yes, trains, baths..all those places where it’s almost impossible to actually get the ideas down on paper! I often have mine when I’m running… But I also find white noise (particularly water) is useful for getting the thoughts moving. And yes, Chris, I know exactly what you mean!

  6. Water helps me, either a shower or ideally soaking in the bath. And, believe it or not – I often sort out a tricky plot problem when I’m doing the ironing!

  7. Like you, Jane, it usually comes somewhere it’d be impossible/rude to start jotting down ideas – I had to hold onto one thought all the way through a boring church sermon once until I could get back home! Lovely picture – wouldn’t like to see a heavy snowfall in that case!

  8. Ideas come at me from all angles. A newspaper article, songs, Jeremy Kyle… And I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve had the best idea ever when I’ve been out walking with no means of recording the thought. Needless to say, most of them are gone and completely forgotten.

    Have just finished HB, Jane – loved it.

  9. It’s amazing how ideas seem to come from nowhere, and then, once they’re firmly in your head, how they develop arms and legs. In a way, they’re rather like amoebas in that they self-reproduce.

    Liz X

  10. Actually I have this nice little shop – it sells scented candles, too.
    Seriously, isn’t it strange how difficult it is to pinpoint a start? I also find that ideas join up in my head when I’m not looking – something that didn’t seem to be going anywhere will suddenly click with something else.
    The mind is a wonderful thing.
    And what’s all this about walking through walls?

  11. Isn’t it odd how we all have our own methods and tried and tested ways of generating ideas? I think that the ‘where do the ideas come from?’ must be the most mysterious part of the creative process, not just for writers but all artists…

    And Evonne…I’ll tell you, sometime!

    Oh, and Liv – thank you!

  12. What a sensational view! It’s so typically English and makes me quite homesick – though I only ever called England home for a year.

    Yes, where we get our ideas is like asking how long is a piece of string.

  13. Ideas, ideas… where do I get mine from? I have absolutely no idea! Having said that, it’s usually several different strands of something very tangible and real which is tossed into the cauldron, stirred with something nebulous, and heavily spiced with emotions and what-ifs. Whenever I get a (very vague) idea for a (very vague) scenario, I scribble it down on a note and put it in a box, then weeks, months, or even years later, some of those notes morph together into an Aha!-moment. So, uhm, maybe my ideas come from a magic box…

  14. People watching in cafes or restaurants tends to get the creative juices flowing; are those two married and if so is it to one another? and things of that ilk. And a good, fast, walk tends to clear the mind and get oxygen up there….:)

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