Writing Fiction: Where Do You Get The Ideas?

Written By: Parul Tyagi

Ever since I have taken up active writing I am often asked- how do you get these ideas? And trust me I have no answer for this. I guess the question in itself is wrong. Isn’t it because I have those ideas, I write? It is like this - my husband doesn’t dance. People have two left feet, he has four. At parties or pubs when there is good dance worthy song playing, he manages to stand still on his two feet NOT moving a muscle. For me it is impossible. In the first instance either I jump to the dance floor or I am moving my shoulders or my head. And it is stupid to ask him- why don’t you dance? It is simple. He doesn’t have it in him! I am no big writer who has bestsellers under her belt (at least not yet but very soon hopefully) but I am a regular writer. I update my blog regularly and I write fiction-novellas or short stories- on regular basis, not as one offs. And because now a certain amount of people know that I write I get many mails with stories as attachments where people ask for my opinion. I politely turn them down as I am an absolute nobody (for now at least) to judge anyone.

So I sit and wonder, why does everyone think that they can write? Like I never believe that I can paint or sing or climb Mount Everest. I know for sure that I can never do these things and I am quite happy with this realisation. For me, either I have it in me or I don’t. I write because I like to, I can and I want to. Just the way I don’t like to paint, I can’t sing and I don’t want to scale the Everest.

Let me tell you how I feel I am able to pen down my thoughts onto paper and make stories out of them. Yes there is a difference in Non-fiction and Fiction writing. I also write content for websites and brochures and advertisements and so I know that in my head I have two distinct departments which I literally ‘switch on” or ‘switch off’ when I sit down to write each one of them. Read on to find out why I believe I am able to write FICTION!

Filosopher- No I have not misspelt it. I have a teeny-weeny bug of a philosopher inside me. I read a lot and I watch a lot of cinema. I often tend to combine other’s creative ideas onto situations in real life and try to dig deeper into real meanings of why things happen, how they happen etc. But then I am not a preacher. Hence the Philosophy with an F! I don’t mull over giving elaborate lectures or sharing high end thoughts as Facebook status messages. I keep them to myself and blurt them out in my stories. Read any of my stories and you will see the essence of some life learning that I have picked by way of my day to day experiences.

Instinct- Ask any writer and he/she will agree that one has to have a strong instinct to write. I don’t write for anyone else. I guess no creative person can create for others. We are essentially doing it for ourselves. Sometimes the blogs I write do not get positive responses from a section of people (Like my blog on my trip to Vaishno Devi) but I write it instinctively. I have a strong instinct and strong opinions. My writing gives these two things a vent and so I feel powerful

Chaos- Not the chaos that my sons make in my house. It’s the chaos inside my head. I believe, because I have so much happening inside it, I am able to write different things at different times. For instance my first novella-Love will find a way- is an exact opposite of my second one (yet to be published). If my short story- The star that shines on me- talks about a helpless poor woman who has a unique inspiration of her own, another story of mine- Dressed to kill- is miles away from this concept and talks about two similar girls in similar situations yet different stakes. You have to be chaotic in your head to come out with ideas. I am not saying they are good or bad, I am just saying it works for me.

Time: My sons are the biggest reasons of why I am able to write. When people wonder how I manage two naughty toddlers plus my writing I remind myself that I got the TIME to write only because of them. My decision to opt out of the usual corporate rat race to raise them eventually gave me time for myself (once they grew up enough) and thus I was able to put down my thoughts on to paper.

Ideas: No need to deliberate further on his. I mean what else are my stories- ideas that I weave around characters and situations right?

Observation: I am one of the biggest observers that you will meet. No I am not talking about the usual “woman observations” types. I over see the jewellery or saree colors that my counterparts wear to weddings. I completely miss the expensive crockery people serve me dinner in to show off. I have a handicap while having an eye for such observations. But for life- I am observant. I record reactions of people around me to different situations. I love to stand there quiet and make mental notes on how people conduct themselves in odd situations like during my Metro rides or in elevators. These observations give me ideas about my characters and the dialogues. I can say my observations are my school!

Nocturnal: While my kids gave me the realisation that I could think about myself, they also give me busy days which are filled with things I must do for them. It’s the nights which are mine. The fact that I am nocturnal by nature truly helps my case. When everyone is asleep, I am the one sitting in the corner, living my life doing something I love- Write.....

About the author:

Parul Tyagi is an MBA from Mudra Institute of Communications, Ahmedabad. She has over nine years of experience in the field of Brand Management and Communication strategy. Her debut Novella was launched this year. She has also published short stories across various forums. An active blogger, Parul is a writer who believes her observations of life are her biggest inspirations to write. She is also a mother and everything else in her life is centered around the joys of seeing her two sons grow up into fine human beings. A traveler, foodie, self-proclaimed Masterchef and a hard core movie buff, she lives in Delhi with her family and blogs at www.parulandmore.blogspot.com. Catch her on facebook.com/parultyagipage or Twiiter @tyagiparul.

Click on the link below to buy 'Love Will Find A Way' by Parul Tyagi.


  1. I would also like to write someday, have this instinct within me that I can. Lol like I know I cant dance! :D

  2. One has to be creative and an excellent writer to be able to complete the essays on the different topics.


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