Sunday, May 23, 2010

“Where do your writing ideas come from?”

“Where do your writing ideas come from?”

What writer hasn’t heard that question? Most would likely tell you that their ideas come from their own, personal experiences.

Some of those might be positive while others may not. And the kinds of stories these memories generate often reflect those experiences.

I’ve been blessed with a wide variety of experiences while producing films and video programs, or TV commercials, across this country and around the world.

While working on Pilgrim’s Progress, in Ireland and England, I had the privilege of working alongside Liam Neeson in his first dramatic role in a feature motion picture.

Many of the other projects were films for children where I learned about dramatic pacing and storytelling.

A children's film project in Wyoming provided material for Big Rig Rustlers which will be republished later this year. And a client video production in Virginia suggested the background for Secret of Abbott’s cave which will also be published this year.

Film productions in Florida, and the jungles of New Guinea, came together in the story for Lost Island Smugglers, the first book in the Sam Cooper Adventure Series. That book will be published in August.

In addition to traveling for production, I had a great childhood where we were free to roam the woods and lakes around our Michigan home. It wasn’t unusual to hit the back door after breakfast – or we’d even take food with us – and not return home until nearly dark. Many of those adventures can be found in the pages of my books.

So, I guess you could say I’m fortunate in the ideas department. My life has provided an abundance of sources for characters, settings, and stories.

Keep an eye out this year for the re-release of Newspaper Caper, Terror at Wolf Lake, North Woods Poachers, Mountain Cabin Mystery, Big Rig Rustlers, Secret of Abbott’s Cave, & Legend of the White Wolf, and the new releases of Lost Island Smugglers, and Barney and The Runaway. These will be followed by a number of additional titles beginning in 2011.

To other writers, where do your ideas come from?

Be sure to follow me on Facebook and Twitter. Search there for Max Elliot Anderson.


Grace said...

With experience like that, what chance do I have in having my work published/ Wow!
My writing ideas come from real life experiences. Most of them have happened to me or some I've heard about along the way.

susan miura said...

In addition to life experiences, I sometimes write using ideas gleaned from stories I covered as a newspaper reporter, as well as the stories I hear from my police sergeant husband. Some of what I hear from him is truly stranger than fiction!

Nicole weaver said...

Hi Max,

You have been abundantly blessed with so many great experiences. I so agree with you. My writing ideas do come from my life. For example, my first tri-lingual chidren's picture book titled "Marie and Her Friend the Sea Turtle" is about my life as a little girl in Haiti. I lived near the beach and sea turtles came to shore all the time. My second picture book, "My Sister is My Best Friend" will be published by Guardian Angel Publishing. This tri-lingual book is about my sister. A sister I did not grow up with, but once I met her I envisioned what it would have been like if I did. So, our experiences play a very important role in our writing. Thanks for sharing thi wonderful post.
Nicole Weaver

Donna M. McDine said...

Fascinating! I'm in awe. Liam Neeson...what a terrific actor! Many of my writings are inspired by historical events that I then create into a historical fiction piece. I've also used several ideas from news articles.

Linda Wichman said...


I agree that real life experience influences a writer's ideas, but sometimes the ideas are the opposite of our life experiences, especially if unpleasant. As a Conquerer of incest and abandonment, I escaped my reality reading about sword swinging heroines and brave heroes in faraway lands. Today my writing ideas incorporate the same recipe set amid real historical events with a supernatural touch. And always within my make believe worlds are the remnants of a real child who still slays and conquers dragons!

Messy mommy said...

Hmm, well I write sci-fi so I try to take day-to-day life, add a sci-fi twist to make it more appealing. I guess most of my general ideas/themes come from things I have overcome and things I watch my kids deal with (self-esteem, perfectionism, issues at school). Otherwise I get alot of ideas from books and movies.