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How To Spark Creativity

Updated on September 20, 2014

Places That Gave Me Inspiration

  1. Floating down the river

  2. Eating at McCalister's Deli

  3. Walking through Downtown Charleston

Go Somewhere New

I cannot tell you how many times I have hit a dead end on ideas and had them resuscitated after going out into the world. There are hundreds of possibilities out there, thousands of stories just waiting to be told. All you have to do is take the time to sit back and watch the people around you.

One of my personal favorite things to do when I am stuck in a rut is to go to Starbucks, sit with my Mocha Frappuccino and a pen and pad, and listen to the world around me. One little conversation can ignite an explosion of ideas. Heck, you can even see an entire story play out in your mind after seeing some oblivious passerby--thinking to yourself, "I wonder what their story is".

Of course, traveling somewhere utterly new is ideal. Going on adventures in a far away land just screams imaginative inspiration. Though the saying that writers should write about what they know is cliché, it is nonetheless true. Taking something like going to a pub in Scotland and turning it into a three part thriller where the main character is being stalked by a man she met at the pub is literary gold. A little bit of inspiration can go a long way.

Watch Your Favorite Movie, Show, Etc.

The biggest way I seem to get the old imagination pumping is by watching my favorite movies, shows, or even playing my favorite videogames. It isn't so much about the fact that they are a form of entertainment as it is the characters in said forms of media. There have been so many times in the past where I have taken stories from existing plots and ran with them. Now, this by no means suggests that one should copy someone else's idea--because that is an obnoxious way to land your credentials in the dirt. The idea of fan fiction is just a good stepping stone to writing something completely original.

For instance, one of my favorite video game characters of all time is Jak from the Jak and Daxter games. After playing these action packed adventures a multitude of times, I started to create scenarios in my head involving the main characters. Before I knew it, there were more plots than I could count buzzing through my somewhat crowded mind. The inspiration was so overwhelming that I had to put it down on paper with brand new protagonists and my very own storyline.

Listen and Imagine

I listen to music almost constantly. It is a huge part of my day to day life, so naturally I get a lot of ideas while listening to some sweet tunes. However, a little method that I practice while blaring some top notch acoustics amplifies my creative writing. While the music is floating through my ears I picture scenarios that would best fit the tone of the song. This is a good way to develop a scene in one's novel.

For me, it's almost like imagining a commercial for a blockbuster film. You want to write something that is going to entice your readers. How many previews have you seen of things exploding, people running, lovers loving that didn't make you want to get up and see that movie right then and there? The answer is absolutely none. So, as a general idea, listen to some jams and think of what peeks your interest the most. It has done wonders for me.

Mad Max 2015 Trailer

Here's an example of the kind of trailer I am talking about. Scenes in a story should be as exciting as those of a preview. They keep people guessing and thirsty for more. Check it out.

If you guys have any suggestions or stories on what inspires you, please share them in the comments below. I like hearing from fellow writers as much as I like actually writing. Hope all of you the best and good luck in your writing endeavors.

Question of the Day

Which of these books do you consider higher quality literature?

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