Laura Martin: Where Do Writers Get Their Ideas | Middle Grade Ninja



well it brings me to my most burning question for you because as you know I'm intensely jealous of your creativity I try never ask authors where do you get your ideas because I know the real answer is you don't completely know but dang it Laura Martin where do you get your ideas because you you've grabbed dinosaurs in Indiana you've got kids at Camp that have superpowers and now when folks for hire comes out you'll have a group about well as much as we could say you have a characters who fake conspiracy theory type hoaxes and when I read that on paper which I was like smacking my head like can't don't you write about UFOs and then Laura's got it so how can I get to them first next time guys teaching at the time and I went to the Natural History Museum in New York and there's a little cage off to the side with this little tiny dinosaur golden retriever I took a picture of your cell phone I said like what if dinosaurs came back with me Cap'n this Texan daily with this kind of dinosaur place dogs and that kind of thing and at least when I go and do author visits I talk did they need to capture what I call what-ifs because every single book starts with a what if you know we all go what if this was true yours for vanocur goals of what if giant robot bees attack you know what if alligator people weren't around so for me it was what if dinosaurs came back and I captured that idea of my cell phone I didn't write it down on the mid months later my cell phone said drive service delete some things I was like – leaving all these random dinosaur pictures and I saw that one you know what it is risky max and had this image of this girl running at the mail and a rover geysers are backing something simple like getting the nail as simple anymore on the next chapter one so I just literally like set my foot down and I started writing each chapter one because I had this idea like I said that came from my dad story growing up I've been hearing those my whole life I asked to hear the story lighting delay had fire more times than I can count so I had to imagine that if it treat me as a kid and it's funny any time I drop lighting a leg gunfire at school but other kids Lincoln for it so you know you got him there and then folks fur hair was actually brewing for a really long time when I was at Butler I had to give like what if there is a family and they were all like the villains like all the bad guys and you know I couldn't figure out how to make it work and then when I was teaching and I actually used to cheat your book that I'm right here call tales with crickets it was a non-fiction book that I use as a teacher to kind of show kids how to identify you know nonfiction things it's all about things like Bigfoot and the Loch Ness monster there's a whole part in the back about all the different creatures out there that we you know think may or may not exist and this is the number one book that kids left to do you know I pulled this book out every single kid one and I'm like there wasn't one kid who was bored by it and pulled all these fun video clips about people hunting for the Loch Ness monster so I said you know what if one entire family was responsible for all of these hoaxes you know then it's impossible if you really think about it but in the world of a book you can make Hell things possible for the right brain so that's kind of where that idea came from but it comes from all over the place I try to capture any time Avenue to stating what ifs idea I try to capture it somewhere I'm writing down where I put it in my phone so that later when I have time to think about it and all the kids are in bed I can go back and see if that idea has any merit and see if it's something I want to run with but you always have to make sure you look at them quickly I'm human Oh what if I guess it too long you go back keep on top of your women ideas past Laura seemed awful excited about this I wish she were here to tell me what was my dream about so you write down all your ideas and then keep a journal or a log someplace of the good ones me I wish I said organized I do have like I'm right wanna have the Notes app and I have all my notes on there but there's pieces of paper flying all over the place I have like one of those old like Filofax like you know that you can like stick a lot of papers in I have one of these like an accordion folder edah for you folder yeah this is not it but I try anytime you get a cool idea then I write down this graph paper I just shove it in there this is organized and then when I want to come up with an idea I'm trying to search for a new idea I just look at all these ideas see which one kind of sparks the imagination which one is worth running with Stephen King told me and I I believed him because why wouldn't I I need to tell me he told the whole world that you should never write an idea down you should let the ideas compete in your mind kind of Hunger Games style to figure out which idea you really want to write about the problem with that is then when I go in I sit down it's okay to need a great idea I wish I had a folder I could reach four and pull out my great ideas what if ideas aren't sticky you they won't stick in your head and I know he's tough as I hear the perfect age for what its middle school you know great school kids in particular I remember and the kids sitting here and you have like 10 awesome ideas in one class period sometimes but by the end of the day you can't recall one of them because our brains are hard-wired to remember every cool wonderful weird wacky idea that we have we're hardwired remember like I should probably eat lunch today so if you don't write them down those get lost forever there so if it's the only difference between you and the writers that writers know that when we get a really good idea we need to grab it and we need to do something with it Dean is just saving it somewhere and I love that idea of like having ideas compete in your head and I maybe do that when I throw my ideas out of the table but I have so much going on in my head you know watching my two-year-old not made himself I feel like heroes are like tornadoes that if you don't watch them 24 hours a day like you know on copper cable ready to fall off so I don't have time to like let those ideas compete I need to focus on other things so it's when I sit down and I can plug all those ideas because like I said I'm tired and hungry a lot of the time if I just like let them hope I'll remember that I have time it's not going to happen okay I think we have identified the flaw in my strategy because I often forget about real life and the things that are supposed to matter and pay attention to but I'm absolutely a hundred percent concentrated on these imaginary characters and their problems you know being a writer you get to have imaginary friends to answer you and no one thinks you're crazy so it's great you

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