Where Did That Idea Come From?

Idea Man


More than once I’ve been asked how I got an idea for a story. Sometimes an idea comes in a flash and I completely write it out. (Pantsing) Most of the time ideas come to me in bits and pieces. (Plot) This post will answer the HOW part of my idea process and mention the person or thing that inspired the story.

My flash humor called Yum-Yum Vampire Hunter was published in The World Of Myth Magazine in October 2019. The idea for the story came from Kerry Anne King‘s live FaceBook writing prompt story creation which I participated in last summer.

Creating a story

Viewers came up with a cast of characters in a store that had dialog with a vampire. The writing prompt was so much fun that I decided to create my own version of the story with additional characters and put them in a store specializing in fresh baked cookies. In comes a vampire with a craving for blood…and chocolate chip cookies.

Yum Yum guy

The dog in my story was a Golden Retriever named Yum-Yum. In the story, Yum-Yum was supposed to attack the vampire on command: “Yum-Yum, Eat’em Up!” Instead of going for the vampire, the dog goes for the cookies.

That idea came from an episode of the 1933 TV comedy series “Little Rascals.” Our gang of adorable children meet an aborigine man that craves candy. He doesn’t speak English except for Yum, Yum Eat’em Up, a phrase he declares loudly when he wants candy. He sees the kids have lots of candy. They take off running because they think he wants to eat them instead of their candy! I remembered that episode and decided my dog would have that name and a desire for cookies.

If writer’s block starts to take hold like Covid-19, remember that ideas come from many places as this story did. Think about a day at work, home, or in the park. Writing prompt ideas taken from the real world can be anything. You can get an idea of how to move that old story or start a fresh one… if you try.

I felt after I wrote the Yum-Yum story it was done, a one-off, time to move on. But Stephanie (Lupa) Bardy -Author, Editor in Chief @ The World Of Myth Magazine emailed me and asked “when do I get the next installment?”

I was overjoyed that she wanted more content from me! That encouragement got me writing another Yum-Yum story.

At times you may not have faith in yourself, but that doesn’t mean other people feel the same way.  With her encouragement, I wrote a sequel “Yum-Yum Meets A Tasmanian Devil.” published in January 2020

When reading characters in a story, everyone has their favorites. Writers have their favorites too. For the Yum-Yum stories, my favorite character is Maisey. She is a Black middle-aged homeless woman that plays the ukulele in the park for tips. She is known for her bravery, sissy language, and funny comebacks in conversation. Her personality was developed as I wrote her. During rewrites, more personal quirks came to me. One thing that comes to mind is if she folds her arms against her chest… she is angry. Watch out!

That idea came during a Yum-Yum rewrite, which stresses the importance of finishing a story, then rewriting to make it better.

My motto is:  A Rewrite Turns It Bright!

I hope my blog, Fictionista, encourages you as a writer to look for and use writing ideas from every source. Boldly bring to life your world-building and story descriptions. If you want to know how I got the idea for any of my other stories, let me know. Feedback will encourage more posting.     Happy Writing!






  One thought on “Where Did That Idea Come From?

  1. September 27, 2020 at 8:39 pm

    thank you for the encouragement. the little rascals — didn’t you find their depiction of dark-skinned folk rather awful?

    Liked by 1 person

    • September 28, 2020 at 1:55 am

      Yes. That was accepted during those years. Also, the actors had to go along with it. I don’t blame them. They had to support family.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. September 7, 2020 at 4:02 pm

    I love hearing how others are inspired, and in what ways they channeled that inspo. Very cool insider knowledge!

    Liked by 2 people

    • September 7, 2020 at 4:41 pm

      My goal is to encourage anyone that wants to write. If I can, they can too. Thanks for your support Heather.🤗

      Liked by 1 person

  3. September 1, 2020 at 4:03 am

    Interesting one.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. August 16, 2020 at 6:00 pm

    Excellent article, Darnell. I agree in particular with the ‘if you try’ line. Inspiration can come from the most mundane of experiences!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. August 6, 2020 at 5:23 am

    Thank you so much for sharing
    Stay safe happy healthy and wealthy

    Liked by 2 people

  6. July 25, 2020 at 1:57 pm

    Great post! Thank you for sharing this great piece of advice and the video 😂 will not forget it anytime soon, wonderful!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. July 25, 2020 at 11:39 am

    A love for cookies… sounds like me if I come back as a vampire! Yum-Yum is such a cute name, and I’ve longed for a Goldie for years now. It’s interesting to see how you went from the first concept, built the character and the key features as the rest of the premise unfolded. The Facebook writing prompt sounds like a great idea too! xx

    Liked by 2 people

    • July 25, 2020 at 11:53 am

      I could see you giving a mean doctor or nurse a cookie…then a BITE! 😂 The writing prompt was fun. So many ideas come to life in a happy group setting. I’d love to do that again.🤗

      Liked by 1 person

  8. July 24, 2020 at 11:48 am

    For sure! Inspiration is everywhere! We just need to put the pieces together.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. July 24, 2020 at 3:49 am

    Great post, Darnell! I’d love to hear more of these stories… so amusing, so original 🙂 Great motto too. I’m busy rewriting the closing chapters of my (still) w.i.p. novel. More brain squeezing to be done.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. July 23, 2020 at 6:14 pm

    Good thoughts…!!

    Liked by 2 people

  11. July 23, 2020 at 5:07 pm

    How interesting! I pull plots for my stories from life experiences, too.

    Liked by 2 people

    • July 23, 2020 at 5:42 pm

      Life experiences with a little tweaking, come to life in another form. They make good plots. Thanks for stopping by.🤗

      Liked by 1 person

  12. July 23, 2020 at 4:10 pm

    That’s a huge compliment, receiving keen interest in your work from a publication of record. You are truly an inspiration. I like the idea of finishing the story first and then rewriting it. It is hard work but definitely worth the effort.

    Liked by 3 people

    • July 23, 2020 at 4:12 pm

      Yes. In this case, it paid off. I have my foot in the door of a publication. Thanks for your support and comment.🤗

      Liked by 1 person

  13. July 23, 2020 at 2:59 pm

    Thank you for sharing your inspiration. Some great advice there, especially to finish the story and then later go back for the re-write.

    Liked by 3 people

    • July 23, 2020 at 3:08 pm

      You’re welcome. One thing I’ve learned is once it’s done, it’s time to improve. Thanks for commenting! 🤗

      Liked by 1 person

  14. July 23, 2020 at 2:18 pm

    Thanks for sharing your story Darnell. It was inspirational. I loved the Yum-Yum story and the video was hilarious 🤣

    Liked by 3 people

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