How to Get an Idea

Go to Paris. At least, that's what worked to kickstart Colin Kelley's first novel, according to this delightful essay. His first completed and published novel was born on a trip to Paris. I often find that traveling awakens my senses and sets me adrift into my interior space. My own just-completed novel THE RENAISSANCE CLUB, was born on a three-week art history tour of northern Italy. Even a short trip -- say around the block and downtown -- can yield story ideas. Glimpsed faces, people in action, events unfolding in front of you can kick off ideas that later weave together. Having just finished a book I find myself automatically searching for more ideas. Some of them will find their way into poems, some into plays, and perhaps a few into another novel. Even just traveling out onto my deck and watching the action on the street below me. Be like a dreamcatcher: look for what gets snagged in the weave.