DIY MFA Book Club: Fuel Your Creativity

Today’s prompt for the DIY MFA Book Club is a particularly interesting one for me (and I am looking forward to how other people respond to it), because it does not fit within my writing practice at all.

The prompt is how you feed your creativity and Gabriela gave the example of the box she has that she calls the Oracle in which she keeps collections of images and words, dice for random idea generating, and other prompt-type things.

I find this fascinating, but it is not something I have ever done. (Although I am honestly so intrigued that I may pursue something like this.)

So where do my ideas come from? I get ideas for stories from Twitter and news stories, things people say or things I see in day to day life. I’m mostly writing science fiction these days, so a lot of my ideas come from scientific papers or discoveries (I follow a lot of Space Twitter people and other scientists). I have also got many ideas from panels and discussions at writing conventions. Although sometimes the idea is a character,  more usually it is a premise or conflict.

For example, the first draft novel that I wrote for Nanowrimo this past year is about an asteroid miner who makes the stereotypical shocking discovery. The idea of an asteroid miner (a bored one who writes stories about the exciting life she wishes she had) came from reading about the potential of asteroid mining (which is a thing right now — the potential, that is) combined with my interest in writing SF that harkens back to that of the 40s/50s but with female and LGBTI characters.

I have a so far unused idea of a Cold War museum / amusement park that acts as a portal back in time (this was inspired by the Cold War museum my partner, who is an artist, had an installation at).

Anyway, I get these ideas and I write them down in a folder in my current Scrivener project for short stories (I keep copies of calls for submission, drafts, final versions, etc). When I am in need of an idea, I look through what I have.

But now I’m really curious about putting together a container of idea-generating things, so I may try that too.


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