Do you have methods that you regulary use to help you generate writing ideas?
I keep my planner with me and write down things that occur to me. My mind wanders quite frequently and in the grocery store line, driving, etc. great ideas come to me. I still have a HUGE list. One day I'll get started!
My sixth grade Language teacher said to keep a notepad by your bed and write down dreams as soon as you wake. These make great stories.
I forgot about the dream log - I too heard that in school- great idea!
Trouble is many get turned off reading others' dreams. Mine vanish as soon as I open my eyes. My Dad dreamed about being chased through Middlesbrough docks by Arab (Yemeni) sailors. Big news at the time, made newspaper headlines in the early 60's.
My methods are very simple:
1)Keeping my ears and eyes always wide open.By keeping my eyes and ears open, I watch TV news regularly and note down something different.
2)I used to regularly read English dailies such as the Hindu and the Deccan Chronicle especially the Sunday magazines.
3)While reading such questions and articles by other writers, I get inspired and get new ideas.For example, I read an article by a writer from Hungary that dealt with problems of racism prevailing there.I too read a peculiar episode from dailies on the problems faced by a two months old baby because of the inter-caste marriage of her parents.Now I too have an idea to write an article on the sufferings of the child for no fault of her but only due to caste ism.
4)By browsing Google with any keyword, I may have some idea for an article.
5)BY reading any book which I hardly do because of my preoccupation with other duties.
I keep a notebook on me and write down random ideas which come to mind. Even if I don't get around to them that day, it means that they're there for when I'm wondering about what I should write next.
Also, I binge on media. Non-fiction and fiction. Watching movies, reading books, tv, video games... so long as you keep an active and analytically appreciative mind while you're doing it, any kind of media indulgence can be a GREAT way to get inspiration and fuel to run the machinations of your imagination.
Like they say, no idea is WHOLLY original, so in stocking your brain chock-ablock with ideas and concepts from well-made stories, you give yourself more access to resources from which to draw when it comes time to manipulate them into something new that's your own. You get the chance to see what they did right, what they might've done better, etc.
Also (and this one is more specific to screenplays, but I'll toss it here anyways), Save The Cat! by Blake Snyder is a great book on screenwriting that provides an excellent overview of story structure and type in general. It's really great for narrowing down a direction to take off in.
The best writing advice for me has always been "write what you know." It is that simple. Make a list of your interests and the things you know best. Start there, and the list is likely to expand.
yes I have a notebook where in I just jot what ever catches me attention, event, person, word, scenary whatever, I browse through this frequently.
Wow! THanks Donna75, DRidge, the roguereviewer, rabasure, and parwatsingari. THese are marvelous. Some of them I do use myself in some form or other. Some - like the screewriting tip - I hadn't thought of. Thanks again.
Sit on a horse. It is what I do at work. Failing that get out the house and wander. Failing that forget about it and more often than not an idea comes to you. As someone said, 'Have that pen and paper handy.'
Just about anything around you can spark a an idea for writing. Watching TV, or just listening to your children can generate the most interesting train of thought, so it is best to be prepared. In addition to a journal, a tape recorder is still a good idea for those times when you cannot write something down.
I write anything for like reading a variety acknowledgement. Internet and laptop are two essential parts to support the efforts in expressing the inspiration at any time and anywhere. When was silence and clearheaded, after a midnight worship is my favorite time to write down the idea. However, within noise atmosphere, I will keep trying to write the ideas on my mind.
I write children's books so I always am taking pictures of my kids and their adventures. I keep a journal of the stories they make up for me and I keep all their drawings. This inspires my writing.
A ten minute write where I put down whatever comes to mind. A walk in the park to clear my head. Sitting in the local restaurant with a cup of tea and people watching. Opening the dictionary, closing my eyes and randomly picking a word that I write about. Tracing my feet and thinking of all the places they take me. Pulling out pictures cut from National Geographic or other magazines and finding one that gives me inspiration. List ten things that bug you, ten things you love, ten things you can change and go from there. Good luck
I use my smart phone as the storehouse of my ideas. Whenever I travel, I take snap of every interesting things that I see, I jot down the ideas in the phone note book...... There are so many Ideas stored... but I'm too busy to write about them....I'm working on time management now to manage some time for writing.
I've sub-divided some of my hubs to allow the addition of further ideas on various themes, like "VIKING" or "TRAVEL NORTH".
Take a look at a topic and make some research into it to provide 'meat on the bones', the same applies to fiction or non-fiction. Anything will 'read right' if you've looked into it and then provide the reader with your findings. You make your readers 'feel at home', giving them the knowledge that you've 'dug up' somehere. They're 'in on it' and will read more of your material.
Read through a paper and find a story, write another story you've based on the report, using the facts available, change some (names, places) and add others. Invent a 'biography' for a character that would read right to you, then set it down.
After a while ideas come on their own...
I have an "Idea Book". Whenever I have an idea pop into my head on a good story, I write a short draft on it. Usually, they are all derived from my own personal experience, my own life dramas. Right now, there are a lot...maybe too many. That's why I needed a book. lol
I tend to be completely open to stuff when sitting outside or when I wake up, when waking up there tend to be 5 or 6 ideas that get quickly written down and acted upon. Striking while the iron is hot does seem to help.
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