Today I followed my first ever webinar. A webinar is an engaging online event where a speaker, or small group of speakers, deliver a presentation to a large audience who participate by submitting questions. In this webinar Marissa Meyer discusses the origin of Eureka moments. The webinar was hosted by Phillip Chipping and Jennifer Jenkins from Teen Author Boot Camp.
Where does Marissa Meyer get her ideas? After following this webinar I have a much clearer idea about where to get ideas for books. This webinar was so fun to watch and was really interesting. Thank you Teen Author Boot Camp for hosting this seminar. Now let's see what Marissa Meyers tips were!
Authors usually answer the question "where do you get your ideas from?" by saying "everywhere". Marissa is one of those authors and explains "I don't really like this question, the answer tends to be vague. I get my ideas from everywhere. I often ask myself why people are so fascinated about this question. There are many reasons so I will try to answer this question."
Meyer personally believes we all are creative. "It’s an inherent human trait. It’s something that sets humans apart from the rest of the animal kingdom. So when people tell me they aren't creative I start thinking and maybe they haven’t cracked the code yet."
Marissa then continues to explain where she got her ideas from. "Many years ago in 2008, I was falling asleep and had a vision of Cinderella. Typical Cinderella with her ballgown and glass slippers. However, in this vision rather than a slipper falling off, her whole foot fell off. My first thought was oh she’s a cyborg. I asked myself: who is this character? What is the world like? That vision grew into Cinder." Now fast forward a couple of years, where the idea of Heartless started. "I was out to lunch with my agent and we were talking about Wicked by Gregory Maguire. It's a story about the Wicked Witch of the West. Maguire completely gave the character a new turn. I said to my agent, wouldn't it be nice if he did the same thing with the Queen of Hearts." Meyers agent looked at her and kindly reminded her of the fact that, she too is a writer. "There it was. Heartless, challenge accepted." My personal favorite is the origin story of the Renegades trilogy and how the author came up with that idea. "I was driving and saw a poster with something on it. It said hero school, coming soon. I was really intrigued and went to pass it again. Turns out, it said something totally different. What was written on the poster wasn't even close to what I had read. But I started to think. It would be super cool to go to a superhero school. What if there's a hero school and a school for villains, wouldn't that be awesome? Oh and this girl who's a villain falls in love with a hero. That's how the Renegades came to life." The school aspect from the authors story was eventually removed but it still inspired her to write the book.
An idea is nothing more or less than a new combination of old elements. - James Webb Young
You have to continuously gather sticks. Gather information and store this information in your brain. You never know where you can find an incredible idea. Sometimes you can combine two old elements and create something new. Meyer also encourage creatives types to go explore and gather as many information as you can. You can go to a museum, take a class, watch movies or documentaries. You can listen to podcasts or even music. Just be curious, stay open-minded and pay attention to the little things.