Life

by Alyssa
(Kinross, MI)

There are a lot of bad things, lies, broken hearts, broken families in my life. I look at my life for what I write about. I want to write a book on my teenage years, I feel it would be interesting.
I also look at other people's lives, whether it's family, friends, or people I don't know. I try to imagine if I was in their place. Or how I lived, if I was them.

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My workplace is my inspiration!

by Krishna
(Malaysia)

I have been working in a very busy clinic for the past thirty five years and this is where I get all my ideas. No names are mentioned but I write what I see. It is very helpful and I do not run out of ideas.

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Acrostic Character Descriptors

by Andrew Hill
(Birmingham, England)

Sometimes I need a character and my mind goes blank so I try this;
step 1, what is the main characteristic of the character going to be? Example, trusting.
step 2, similar to an acrostic poem I write 1 word for each letter that builds the character's profile.
Example
Trusting;
T - Tidy
R - Ritualistic
U - Understanding
S - Stoic
T - Tough
I - Important (social class)
N - Natatorial
G - Guiltless

There are lots of websites that can offer descriptive words and definitions.

I find that after the first 2 or 3 words a character starts to emerge.

Hope this helps.

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Doll-Watching & Magazine Stories

My daughter had a doll catalog from American Girl and I flipped through it, imagining the Historical Characters featured there and imagining their stories. Sort of like people watching, but with dolls. Doll watching!

Also, recently I overheard my daughter talking to her magazine. I would have thought that she was reading aloud, only she wasn't. I listened carefully and this is what she said,

"Once upon a time there was... a teddy bear locked up in a castle, and he only had a watch... but the watch was magical... so he could use it to produce a crayon... then he melted it to get a key... then he opened the door... then he was free."

Well! I was surprised because I knew she was talking about a specific page in the magazine, a full-page ad featuring teddy bears. At the top of the tower was a speech bubble reading,

"Come save me, O Teddy Bear! For I am Rapunzel!"

Ha! Well, hope you get inspired!

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Music

by Katherine
(United States)

Put your Ipod on shuffle, turn on the radio, go on Youtube or Playlist.com, whatever you want, but turn on some kind of music. Think about the story that the song tells and then insert some of your characters into that story. Play around with different songs and ideas, and eventually you'll find something!

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Create a file for future reference

by Fiona Johnston
(Monks Eleigh,Suffolk)

We all need an idea resource to scan for future story or non fiction ideas. Where do you store them for a start
1. Ringbinder
2. Cardboard shoe boxmoderately large for postcards/photographs
3. Special file on computer- use notebook/notepad.
4. Ideas for writers
So often you have a stack of ideas in a notebook that you have kept then wondered so many months, 'what the heck is this'? Yes we have all done it, let the ideas go too cold and you are back to square one

So how do you keep these ideas clearly for posterity? Well, easy. Don't stare at a blank computer screen, it only demoralises you and you lose that magic word from the recent Olympics, inspiration. So go out for a walk with a purpose if you are in town, that favourite toy shop for all writers, a stationery shop. Buy yourself a large ringbinder and some plastic sleeves, you will find that perhaps a little less heavy and cumbersome in your ring binder. Now divide it into twelve months of the year or into seasons, even both if you prefer. Now when you have an idea or more in that month you are in or have a story for certain seasons, slip it in, on a typed hard copy from your word processor, don't rely on memory or your handwriting if it is at all like mine, especially the latter. Periodically overhaul the folder and see if you can't make a few adjustments, a fresh slant.

If you collect picture postcards, they could be a wonderful aid to memory in terms of describing a place, a country house, a person if it is a photographed portraint or for your characters. Divide the box appropriately with index cards in alphabetical order. Not the lined ones but with tabs which can be purchased in any good stationery shop or if you know a business that is dispensing with these, offer to take them off them, paying a nominal fee by asking which charity they support. Also get a large shoe box to store them in. Also if you use index cards for ideas, websites etc, organisations, make use of old washing cube boxes but make sure they are the appropriate size unless you don't mind cutting them up.

There is another way of course, put it on your computer, set up a special file for reference, using notebook or notepad. Also do the same for useful addresses or websites etc.

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Visit a Bookstore

by Hallie
(United States)

If you're having trouble finding something to write about, visit a near-by bookstore. Read the blurbs on the back of the books to get ideas, Make sure not to copy the idea completely though. If the idea was about traveling through time to visit dinosaurs, write about something similar, like traveling through time to visit medieval knights.

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Close Your Eyes

by Alexa Raquipiso
(Lancaster, CA)

Close your eyes, relax. Imagine yourself in the story - feel the warm summer breeze, taste the cool rain on your lips, see a mother's heart broken tears, feel everything. Close your eyes and let every sensation run through you until it becomes real.

Then you write.

I am filled with a warm sensation within me. I know exactly what to write! How to perfectly describe everything! The words, they come to me. Flow through my fingers, driven by an inner force. You just have to relax, close your eyes.

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Do A Little Acting

by Dixie Korley
(Newark, NJ, USA)

My technique is more active. I like to listen to insttumentals from soundtracks and imagine a scene strictly inspired from the music. It doesn't matter if you see the movie or not. When the music is more quiet, I imagine a person who's alone in a forest or near a lake. When it's more fast pace, I start to think of action scenes. Once you get an idea of how you want your scene to be like, you can go ahead and look for pictures of any kind. Also practice a bit of dialogue, put it down on paper, and then act it out again. This can be very helpful planning scenes in stories.

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Essence's Helpful Hint

by Essence Simmons
(Nashville Tennessee)

When I get an idea into my head, I've realized that most of the time, I do not have anywhere to write down my ideas so I forget. If you really are trying to be a successful writer, always keep a notepad and a pencil.

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Keep an Inspiration Book

Take this book whereever you go -- it doesn't have to be special (you don't want to spend loads of money on a notebook to then take it everywhere with you and lose it)and when you see something you like, find interesting or maybe someone who would make an interesting character, just stop for a moment where you can and jot it down. Then later at home take it all and try to think of a storyline.

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Daydream and Take Notes

Details always will need to be thought about over and over again. Daydreaming is the best way to do that. Just don't daydream in classes (you need to learn!) and always write your daydreams down so you never forget them.

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Writing

by mjaeger
(los angeles, ca. usa)

If you will spend time on this site, you will get a lot of creative writing ideas. Be patient. Come back day after day until you find what you are looking for.

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Picking Names For Characters

by Sabrynn
(USA)

Look in a phone book, listen to people talk, and read books. These are all good ways to get good names. Write down the ones you like and build them a complex personality. If you like the way you described a charactor to yourself then use it.

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The Name Game

For me, the easiest way to find ideas for my stories is to come up with a list of possible story titles. If you have an overractive imagination (which most writers do), then you should be able to hear a story title and come up with a thousand possibilities of what that story is about. For example, if you heard the title "The Hunger Games", what would you think that book is about? Perhaps the first thing that would pop into your mind is an image of an eating competition. Or maybe you thought of something completely different. Whatever you imagined that book to be about, my point is coming up with a list of book titles (whether they're real titles or not), can spark your imagination and send you into inspiration mode.

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