Get in, loser! We’re going idea hunting.
How to actually, really find those elusive little stinkers.
“Where do you find your ideas?”
It’s one of the most common questions writers get. All the normies want to know. Attend any author reading or book-related event and you’ll hear the same words over and over again.
“How do you get your ideas?”
And authors have gotten really good at coming up with answers.
“Ideas can occur anywhere! You just have to pay attention to the world around you. Maybe a news article or a conversation could trigger a big story idea! One day you’ll be tying your shoelaces or grooming your taxidermy collection and a fascinating concept will take root in your brain.”
Sounds great, doesn’t it?
Except it’s a lie.
Ideas don’t exist everywhere. They’re not sitting around waiting for you to stupid into them. You think authors are just paying attention? You think that’s how it works? Sorry, but no. It’s a lot more difficult than that.
Writers want you to believe the lie that anyone can find an idea anywhere, because they don’t want you to know where all the ideas are really hiding. They want to keep them all for themselves.
That way they can go on creating big, imaginative books while you keep banging your head against your monitor and wondering why you can’t get through even a page of your own novel.
Those authors are cruel.
But I wouldn’t do that to you.
I’m going to give it to you straight. Because, unlike those jerky jerk faces, I actually care about your progress as a writer.
This is really going to going to knock the cheese off your taco.
The ideas are hiding in Lewes, Delaware.
Yup. Any time an author wants to write a book, first they take a little trip over to Lewes and book an idea safari. The trucks have big wheels and playful horns and the guides provide nets for catching ideas. Sometimes, when the weather is calm, the whole process takes barely any time at all. Ideas practically dance into the nets.
Other times, when the wind whips up, it can become a challenging pursuit, across Alderleaf Drive, past the old print shop, off-roading along the Junction and Breakwater Trail, and sometimes even parking at the Lewes Historical Society and chasing ideas up and down the rickety stairwells. (The Historical Society members do not love it when this happens.)
Patricia Highsmith once sprained an ankle chasing an idea through the old military base. It was worth it, because that idea got her nominated for the Edgar Allen Poe Award.
Stephen King almost got bit by a rabid dog during one of his many hunts, but you can probably guess how that turned out.
Even though she’s currently 79 years old, Margaret Atwood is still making frequent excursions to Lewes, running at a surprising pace and intercepting younger authors’ ideas, using huge leaps to snatch them away at the last moment.
A whole cottage industry of idea huntering helpers has sprung up in Lewes. It’s a very profitable business if you have a big truck and the ability to say comforting things to temperamental authors.
Yes, I know this changes everything.
Don’t think about the time you’ve wasted.
Don’t consider the long hours spent in front of your computer screen, waiting for ideas to arrive.
Just get in the truck.
Let’s go hunting!
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