My new writing class started today and I think I will enjoy it just as much as the first one. Today's lecture was about fiction, literary vs. genre, and about writing what you "know" and getting ideas from all around you. The first assignment is simply to write a 300-400 word fictional biography.
I am finding that, contrary to my own opinion, it's easy to get a multitude of ideas for things to write without ever leaving my own home. I just went over the lecture a short while ago and already I have at least four possible ideas.
I've thought of doing a short biography on an elf, like the ones I play in my online game. I've always found elves to be fascinating creatures. I also had an idea about a tiny hunter, hunting lady bugs. This came from watching one of our cats intently stalking lady bugs in the living room. Other possibilities I've thought of are a small town waitress (an idea that sprang from a game that my mother plays, and that I know a bit about, having lived in small towns and having waited tables myself, though not in those small towns), and a maid. This last idea came simply from picking up a piece of trash and throwing it away, and led to memories of going to a neighbor's home with my grandmother while she cleaned it.
I'm rather amazed with the number of ideas that have popped into my head so quickly without ever going anywhere exciting. All of my ideas do have the element of something I "know" to some extent, whether it be from games, reading, or actually experiencing. And to think that I couldn't think of anything that I "know" besides trucking!
I definitely think I need to finally follow another suggestion from the instructors of both of my writing classes and get a small notebook for jotting down ideas when they come to me. Whether or not I ever use the ideas is not important. Making notes of flitting ideas before they flutter away is.