Daily Writing Tip 18 of 100, Where Do You Get Your Ideas

For one hundred days, I’m going to post a writing tip each day. I have a whole bookshelf full of writing books and I want to do some reading and increased studying of this valuable resource. This will help me keep track of anything I’ve learned, and help motivate me to keep going. If anyone has a favorite tip of their own to add, contact me. I’d love to put it up here.

Today’s tip – Where Do You Get Your Ideas

Source – Telling Lies For Fun & Profit by Lawrence Block

Bits of fact can fit together. Almost all of the successful fiction writers I know share a tendency to retain odd scraps of data to no apparent purpose. Sometimes these orts prove useful, sometimes they do not. I know, for example, that in 1938 the state of Wyoming produced one-third of a pound of dry edible beans for every man, woman and child in the nation. I should be roundly surprised if I should ever build a story around this nugget of information.

He’s right – nobody gives a damn about how many beans came from Wyoming in 1938. However, I do know, from experience, that at one time, in Olney, Texas (quite a while ago, however time doesn’t really move in Olney, Texas… does it) there was a Dairy Queen. A hundred tiny hand-lettered signs hung from the ceiling in the Dairy Queen, each saying, “Thursday Night Is BEAN NIGHT – all the beans you can eat for 99 cents!

I’ve always wanted to use that in a story. The probable title – Stay Out Of Olney On A Friday Morning.

BTW – An Orts is a small bit of uneaten food after a meal.