Back to: What I'm doing this week | Forward to: Excuses, part 673052

Blogging on "Where do you get your ideas?"

(The death march is over: the manuscript will be in my editor’s inbox on Monday morning. So I’ve got time to blog again ...)

One of the questions that every SF author gets asked sooner or later is “where do you get your ideas?” For better or worse, I seem to get a double dose of it; ideas are my particular speciality, or so it said in the last fortune cookie I opened. So I thought I’d give the game away by explaining just where they come from.

Continued here



What? Not from Ideas'R'Us dot com? I am so disappointed.


Congrats on escaping the clutches of the monster...


Congratulations; enjoy a well-deserved rest.




Nice post, and right on the nail. And, just so happens, through the serendipity of random images wot bubble up from de unkonshuss, I got a groovy idea for my (future) steampunktastic caper nov! Ta, Charlie, yir a gent!


I'm sort of drunk, but hasn't the word "invent" been repeated in the second unitalicized paragraph of the article? I hear the airquotes in my head as I read the first "invent," but that may be the stripper beer talking.


So, we all have a personal interest in taking you to the pub. OK.


I love how the comments on went straight into "Oh that's already been done!" Well, yes, you can draw parallels to just about anything if you stretch it enough.


wait.. didn't Asimov have a short story called "Where do you get your ideas?" in one of his anthologies? Is this post referencing that? I'm perplexed.


Sounds remarkably similar to hardware and software idea creation in Silicon Valley. I'm sure you've even been there yourself. As you say, ideas are ten a penny, execution is what counts.


@darragh: I can't lay my finger on it, but I think Asimov wrote an essay on this. Clarke did too. I'm sure many artists finally write something about this question.


Leo Tolstoy had an interesting way of generating ideas.

He would force himself into his study for six hours every day and scribble ideas on little pieces of paper, backs of envelopes, etc.

Eventually one of the ideas would come alive, and he was then off and running with his latest piece of genius.



About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Charlie Stross published on April 30, 2009 9:21 AM.

What I'm doing this week was the previous entry in this blog.

Excuses, part 673052 is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

Search this blog