Books & Periodicals · ideas

Ideas come from somewhere

Memories make the best stories

Some people are lucky enough to tell those stories in a very entertaining and enjoyable way, but that doesn’t change the fact that everyone has a story inside them. Find your story. Tell it, Draw it. Sing it.  Act it.

How to catch ideas

Ideas are tricky. They appear from anywhere and for any reason. Holding on to them is difficult, but worth the effort. Here are a few exercises to catch ideas.

  • 1. The Idea Matrix: Draw an object or write a word on the top left corner of a piece of paper. Put another object on the bottom right hand corner. Now, write or draw the first things that come into your head, making a link from word to word, or drawing to drawing.
  • 2. Group Activity:  Hasta Vista: This exercise encourages you to behave like the animal, using voices and actions different to your own. Choose an animal you would like to be. One of you asks the others to move about as that animal while the rest of the group is still frozen. Try the ‘Touch on’ setting, where the others can become the forest while the chosen kids move about.
  • 3. Activity: Beginning, Middle, End: Take your favourite story and work out the beginning middle and the end. 

Bring the idea to life

Once you have caught a few ideas, it is time to decide which to work on. Some people have friends or family who are really good listeners and are honest enough to tell them the truth about their idea. 

While it can hurt, it is useful to know if others think your idea is great, or not so great.

Writers and illustrators capture ideas all the time. Most are okay, some are terrible, but a few turn out to be really good. They learn from their mistakes to make their next idea better.

Being patient and calm is very useful when you are planning to bring your idea to life. Being organised is more important though. If it’s going to be a book, for instance, you have to think about the size of the book, where the text goes, where the pictures go, how big they will be, how many pages there are, and so on. 

Don’t aim to get things right in one go; Read over your work
a few times, each making it slightly better each time until you feel it is ready to show.

Keep your ideas in one place

Our brains are more powerful than the most powerful super computer, but sometimes they’re not switched on! Ad when they are on, they are constantly changing our ideas.

The best way to keep track of things is to write them down. Writers and illustrators have many sketchbooks and notebooks filled with passing thoughts. Some become ideas and those ideas become books or movies or games.

 What is important is that they are in one place and can be found easily.

Show your work

By the time the idea is ready to show, you, the creator of the work, should be confident of one thing; That this work is clear enough to get a Yay! Or a Nay! 

If people are confused by your work it probably means that you haven’t made it clear enough. It also means that you were so close to the work that you didn’t have the heart to be honest or critical enough. The result is that you will be really upset by any negative comments about the work, rather than accepting that people are trying to help. 

If it is clear though, you can be proud that you did you very best to get your story out of your head and on to paper and that some people enjoyed it. In other words, you won’t be too hurt that not everone likes it. You can’t please everybody.

Writing & Drawing 

Write or draw in your own way as much as possible. Let your hands and your brain work together and see what happens.

Get to know how you make marks on paper so you can find out what your ‘style’ is. Most of all, do this as often as possible. Practice makes perfect. Be patient, but also be confident in your own ability and have fun!