Learn how to find ideas for writing with these six idea tips and tricks.
I don’t actually believe in writer's block. There’s always something to write about. There’s always an idea somewhere. It’s just a matter of finding it and pulling together enough thoughts to make it happen. Here are six idea tips and tricks for finding something to write.
Read the News for Writing Ideas
The first thing I do every morning and read the news. The news can be a plethora of potential ideas and plots. This morning there’s an article about the Yemeni president refusing to leave. Europe is on alert for an Icelandic volcano ash cloud. There’s something about Newt Gingrich’s Tiffany’s account. Lightening struck two Indianapolis homes. Purdue is thinking about raising fees for foreign students. There was a tornado in Missouri.
The trick is to think about all those headlines and to think about what you know. If you know something about Yemen and the president, that might make a plot for a short story or novel or political commentary if you’ve read enough previous articles. The same can be done for all the rest.
Think About Things That Make You React: Angry, Sad, or Happy
The second thing to do is to sit back and think about what makes you angry, sad, or happy. Just pick an extreme emotion and an event that would trigger that emotion. The only thing I caution on is writing about recent family strife or death. A good first draft can be gotten immediately, but a polished draft doesn’t happen until six months or a year later. Raw emotions take time to heal, and the mind needs time to objectively process the events.
Sit and Observe at a Favorite Spot
The third idea would be to go to once of your favorite places; coffee shop, bookstore, store, park, or parking lot and sit and write everything you see and hear. This is an indirect way to find an idea. Still, it's a very good way to set a future scene.
Write About Something That You Want to Know More About
The fourth idea is to think about something you would like to know more about and start researching it. I like history especially ancient history and the Roman Empire. I also like the Victorian era. I few years ago I started purchasing all the books on ancient civilians and Rome I could find. I’m currently in the process of writing a historical novel from the books I’ve read.
Purchase Writing Idea Books
The fifth idea involves purchasing writing idea books. I own several of these as well. My most recent purchase was “The Writer’s Idea Book” by Jack Heffron. I like it. I haven’t used it extensively but I like some of the ideas in it. Some of them I’ve heard before. The book goes through brainstorming, clustering, cutting pages into sections and literally tossing them on the floor and rearranging them. I’m not a fan of the latter because it makes a mess. But, I am a fan of brainstorming as a last resort.
Just Write Whatever Comes
The last idea involves just writing through it. If you have a topic, but nothing concrete sometimes the best solution is to just write it out. I have started off many a paper and a story with the words “I cannot think of anything to write,” then I go from there. A lot of times the topic forms within the page, and I can take out that initial line and edit the work into something concrete.
Stacey Carroll is the author of the thriller series - Avia. She also authors the paranormal erotica series - The Blooddoll Factory. Stacey grew up in Indianapolis, Indiana. she went to college at Indiana State University (ISU) and graduated with a Bachelor's degree in aerospace in the professional pilot program. She has flown Cessna 152s, Cessna 172s, the Pipe Seneca and the King Air. She also graduated with a minor in computer science that specialized in web design.
She has always been interested in reading and writing, and the first book she was ever read was the Grimms Brother's Fairy tales. From the ages of 6 to 11, she read the Nancy Drew series. By the age of 11, she had graduated to Stephen King novels. A few of her favorites include Carrie, Tommyknockers, The Dark Tower Series up to book 3 (That's where it stopped in the late 80s/ early 90s), Pet Semetary, The Shining, Night Shift, The Stand, It, Cujo, Christine, The Eyes of the Dragon and Thinner (Richard Bachman). In her teen years, she moved on to Anne Rice and got through about four of those books before they degraded. If you've ever read Anne Rice, you know book 5 isn't readable. Stacey has read a couple Harry Potter books as she was introduced to them in the early 2000s, and she's never read or watched anything Twilight or 50 Shades. Sorry. I'm a vampire purist, and nothing needs to be said about the latter. You already know.
She is currently an author and freelance writer. She received an honorable mention in Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine in 2008 for a short story entitled The Field. In 2014, she was published in 13 Stories by Us by MacKenzie Publishing.
Other books by Stacey