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Open Right

Glenda Millard: Where to find ideas for story and how to develop them.

Session Info:

One of the questions I am most commonly asked both by children and adults is ‘where do you get your ideas from’. This session is designed to reveal the many and varied places from which ideas are accessible to all. I will list the resources I regularly use, such as art galleries, concerts, movies, theatre, second-hand shops, cuttings from magazines, newspaper headlines, overheard conversations, visualisation techniques and so on. In order to practically demonstrate instances where I have utilised ideas gathered from such sources, I will refer to my books, explaining the initial idea from which each of them was developed. A class exercise in the visualisation technique may be used. Prior consultation with teachers will establish which book students are familiar with and I will read from that book. After the reading I will ask students for suggestions about where they think the idea for that book came from. I will then reveal the sources of the inspiration: eg. ‘Isabella’s Garden’ came about because of my mother in law’s failing sight and resulting inability to care for her garden, Mbobo tree was the result of a radio talk-back program and ‘The Naming of Tishkin Silk’ came about simply because of a name. This will lead in to my explanation of how to use a questioning technique to progress the story. Students will be invited to participate in this exercise as a group on a white board or individually on paper if times allows.

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