The ting writers are asked most often is “where do you get your ideas?”
Harlan Ellison said he got them from the Idea of the Month Club in Schenectady, Neil Gaiman said you should not ask such questions because writers, being evil and scared of such questions, would mock you in a writerly manner.
I usually say “everywhere”, and just to give you an example… well, here’s an example.
I shared today on Facebook an article about Kinessa Johnson, an Afghanistan veteran that is currently hunting poachers in Africa.
It’s pretty straightforward: they try and kill endangered species, they become an endangered species.
A friend commented my post, wondering if she could do the same.
To which I replied, basically, why not?
She replied in turn
I am dangerous with a gun in my hands.
Which, of course, is the whole point of hunting poachers – you want to be dangerous, right?
I then jokingly suggested that, should she decide to go on and become a hunter of poachers, she should give me a call, as I’d like to join in.
But here, of course, common sense kicked in, and I considered that, while she’s a fit, athletic, no-nonsense woman who’d probably thrive outdoors, I am… most definitely not.
This in turn brought back memories of a movie I last saw a long time ago, but I liked very much – Michael Apted’s environmental screwball comedy of sorts, Continental Divide, featuring John Belushi and Blair Brown.
Yeah, that’s exactly what would look like, should my friend take me up on my offer…
And there it clicked.
This would be a great story.
She’s a tough, no-nonsense Army veteran that’s dangerous with a gun (but in a good way).
He’s a physically unfit, fish-out-of-water guy that’s more at ease with words than with weapons.
They fight crime… in the wild!
This is how story ideas are born, sometimes.
And I would really like to write a story like this – mixing action and comedy, with an environmental conscience, and big ordnance, and a kick-ass female character.
I could even try and write it.
Now I only need another six-pack of 36-hours long days, of course…