Book of the Month: Where do you get your ideas?

I proudly present you Fred White’s Where do you get your ideas? A writer’s guide to transforming notions into narratives.

The essence of this writing guide

Where do you get your ideas? is not the typical book about writing. It’s not about storyline, designing characters and all those things you expect to find in a guide for writers. Instead this book starts with the beginning of the beginning – with the search of an idea that makes a great story. Impressions, places, characters – each of those elements alone is not yet a plot. But each contains the seed, which can grow into a fascinating tale. This book explains how to find the connection between singular ideas  and a finished draft. It offers a specific guide on how to create stories out of impulses and ideas.

What to expect – Chapters






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The book is split into two parts:

1. Strategie

2. Applications


  1. Where to look for ideas and how to recognize them
  2. Getting ideas out of the blue
  3. Working an idea (6 Stufen)
  4. Building a modern story
  5. Creating a short story from a newspaper report
  6. Centering your memoir on family memorabilia
  7. Structuring your novel around a symbol or event
  8. Seventy-five seminal ideas for your novel

Where do you get your ideas?

Special features of Where do you get your ideas


1. Writer’s notebook

This book really emphasizes the importance of a notebook for the writer. Every chapter contains a box full of tasks for your writer’s notebook. The notebook is supposed to be a collection of impressions, scenes and observations. Fred White suggests to start a folder, which you can use to further process your notes. It allows you to sort the material into categories and access it later for inspiration. You can include scraps from newspapers, character ideas and other finds. 


2. Starting with ideas

Finally a writing guide that starts at the point that proves to be difficult for many authors. It isn’t always easy to transform an idea into a whole story.  Many times, the idea is not strong enough to build the base of a good plot.  Where do you get your ideas from? fetches the reader right where he stands and shows useful techniques to further develop the idea. 


3. Practical Guide: Apply what you have learned

In this chapter you’ll find tasks which you can use to practice.  If you follow all of those suggestions, you will have an archive of ideas and a writer’s notebook by the end of your lecture. This book will also provide you with a concrete notion on how a fascinating story can grow from a single idea. Of course, it’s not necessary to do all of the exercises in order to benefit from reading Where do you get your ideas?. But it can be useful to try at least a few of them, because they can help you to get into the flow of planning and writing.

I hope you will give this wonderful, little book a try. It’s one of my favorite writing guides.


PS: This post also exists in German.







1 Comment
  1. […] to books which focus more on the act of developing an idea into a story. I would recommend “Where do you get your ideas” by Fred White to anyone who is seeking for some guidance in this […]

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