Do you ever get stuck? The ideas just aren’t flowing? Yeah, me, too. Sometimes I have to take a break from my current writing project and work on something new or fresh. But what if new and fresh just aren’t coming? There are a couple of things you can do, and one of my favorites are writing prompts.
You can find them just about anywhere. I love to do searches on Google for them. Writer’s Digest Magazine has weekly prompts that are fun to write about, just to give the brain something else to try. Often the prompt may be outside your genre, but a good story is always a good story. More often than not, the prompt is nothing more than a slight diversion. But every once in a while it might spawn an idea.
Another fun place to look for writing material is through contests that provide the prompt. Writer’s Weekly has a quarterly short story contest. I’ve entered a few and haven’t won, but seriously that’s okay, because I’ve had two great book ideas come out of them. One of my losing stories sparked an idea for a series.
Have you tried morning pages? (Or pages for whatever time you sit down to write.) The idea behind this is to write about whatever is on your mind. It doesn’t matter. It can be why you didn’t get the dishwasher loaded last night, or the crazy neighbor who grills steak every week when you’re on that blasted vegetarian summer diet. The important thing is to do it in long hand. Yes, that means with paper and pen. I love to write in colored pen. I feel like it unleashes my creativity.
Sometimes I’ll peruse book titles and think about what that story might be like and how I would write it if it was mine. Or I’ll come up with my own book titles. Sometimes I like the way the words of a title flow, like “Code Talker’s Daughter” and wonder who the characters are and what they are like.
How do you come up with ideas?