Where do you get your ideas from?
That must be the question most often asked of writers and the most difficult to answer. We all know that story and character ideas are all around in us our daily life – overheard conversations, a couple arguing in the street or 2 teenagers in hoodies following an old lady.
But ideas tend to be like buses – 3 come along in a row or, no matter how long you wait, not one puts in an appearance.
If you’re suffering an ideas drought here are a few ‘ideas factories’ to kick-start your imagination:
- Sally & Cally’s Short Story Ideas Generator – this will give you a random character, setting and conflict/situation
- The Brainstormer – this is a little bit like an on-line roulette wheel. Click on the ‘Random’ button to spin the wheel and generate a conflict, adjective and person/place/thing.
- The Writers’ Idea Store in Writers’ Forum magazine – this monthly feature by Paula Williams discusses where to find ideas and also incorporates a Fiction Square. The square includes 6 each of characters, conflicts, weather, setting and objects. Roll a dice once for each of these categories in order to determine which should be in your next story.
- The Writer’s Block – this is a block-shaped book that contains ideas and story prompts on every page. It’s well worth dipping into if you’re scratching your head for something to write about.
- Sign up for the free e-newsletter produced by www.ideasforwriters.co.uk – you will receive story prompts and ideas for historical anniversaries to write about.
- Creative Writing Prompts has 346 prompts to get your pen moving.
There is no copyright on ideas. This means that it’s acceptable to re-write a well-known story such as a fairy-tale or legend. Try writing The Frog Prince from the point of view of the frog rather than the princess or modernise Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs by giving the heroine a job as a housekeeper to a group of brothers living in a large house inherited from their parents.
So now you’ve no excuse for not writing. Don’t wait for inspiration to strike – use the suggestions above to create your own!
Remember – Writers Write! (they don’t just sit around and think about it).
#1 by Helen Yendall on February 10, 2011 - 4:05 pm
Thanks Sally – some great ideas here! Your is something I’ll definitely come back to when I’m looking for inspiration (which is a LOT of the time!)
#2 by Alison Stevens on February 15, 2011 - 7:25 pm
These are great suggestions, although I have the opposite problem: too many ideas. At any one time, I have at least five ideas in my head, and at least three of them are current projects (one novel, one picture book, and one magazine article, sometimes more). I wish I had more time! 😀
#3 by Sally Jenkins on February 15, 2011 - 7:54 pm
More time – I agree, Alison. Wouldn’t it be fantastic to get an extra hour in every day just for writing?
Best of luck with all the projects!