Where do Writers get Ideas? My Ideas Come from the Gaps

Where do Writers get Ideas?

People often ask me where I get ideas for my stories. I’d never really paid attention to it much, because I’ve always had a fairly active imagination and it comes naturally to think of the things I write. Where do writers get ideas?

But I did notice something the other day, and it stuck out as an ‘ah-ha’ moment. *That* is how ideas come to me, and that’s where they come from.

I don’t get ‘whole’ ideas (for whole stories) from single inspirations. I get snippets. The snippets together make the framework for my story.

To give you an idea of how ideas work for me, think of how a CD player fills in over minor scratches so that you don’t hear a skip when it’s playing. It just sounds like the music is playing normally, and the better the player, the better it is at filling in the tiny little gaps that are caused by scratches.

What exactly was it that I noticed that *ah-ha* day? as it whizzed through and skimmed across the top of the fence into the pasture beyond.
autumn leaves 2 autumn leaves 1autumn leaves 3
Or the blast of leaves could have been made by a beast smashing leaves out of his way, something giant and from another dimension, lost and bumbling through the trees, stepping over fences as he crashed out onto the road from the undergrowth…

My ideas come from the gaps.

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If you write, where do your ideas come from? If you’re not a writer but a reader, where did you think our ideas came from?

Here’s another post about how nature inspires some of my ideas.


First Hunt by Ima ErthwitchPredator and Prey, or the hunter and the hunted is a common theme throughout my fiction writing. No Qualms, one of my short stories (free at most retailers) is about about a predator/prey relationship. Symbiosis, my first finished novel, not published yet, deals with predator/prey relationships and the balance of energy among life on earth, sometimes symbolic and often outright. Many of my flash fiction stories (I have twitterfiction and 100-word flash stories) are also dealing with this same dynamic. This is a strong theme that runs through most of my fiction and is strongly influenced by life in the wild Ozarks where we live. My first published novel, First Hunt, also has a predator and prey theme to it. I guess it's just part of my nature.

Nature Farming


Wild Ozark is 160 acres of beautiful wild Ozark mountains. I call what I do "nature farming" because the land produces, all by itself, the shagbark hickory trees, ferns, moss, ground-fall botanicals, and the perfect habitats for growing and stewarding American ginseng. I'm co-creating with Nature - all of the things I use to make the Fairy Gardens and Forest Folk, the bark we harvest for Burnt Kettle's shagbark hickory syrup, are produced by nature without my input. This land is my muse for inspiration when it comes to my writing, drawing, and photography. It's truly a Nature Farm.

About the voice behind this blog, Madison Woods

I'm a creative old soul living way off the beaten path with my husband in the wild Ozark Mountains. Besides homesteading, growing plants & making crafty things and newsletters, I write books and stories. My rural fantasy fiction, written under the pen name, Ima Erthwitch, usually takes place in a much altered Ozarks.


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