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Monday, August 29, 2016

How I Get Ideas for Short Stories & Creative Writing


Hey, y'all! I'm back from a brief blogging break because of work. I've been busy with blogging and magazine-article writing, and it's all been fun. Hope you guys had a wonderful week last week! :)

Now, let's get down to business.

My passion is writing, plain and simple. I adore the written word, and I love being able to use the written word to create stories. I work with both non-fiction and fiction mediums, and I love both.

Sometimes, I have no problem finding story ideas...other times, it feels like I've got a bad case of writer's block and have no idea where to even start. Either way, it's becoming easier and easier to find inspiration for short stories and longer writing projects, and I love it.

So, regardless of if you're a seasoned writer, someone who writes on and off, or a curious reader stopping by, I want to share some of the ways I've been finding ideas for stories.

Real Life Experience

What would I categorize as real life experience?
  • Stories and favorite moments from your childhood/growing up
  • Places you've been
  • Places you dream of going
  • Things you've done
  • Things you wish you could do or experience (for example, having some kind of superpower)
  • People you know
  • Things you've learned
  • And so on :)
I've been able to get a ton of writing inspiration from real life, and I honestly believe it's the best place to start when I'm trying to figure out what to write next, creative or not.

Then, I usually supplement experience with...


The Internet!

The internet has a treasure trove of information anyway, so it comes as no surprise that there's quite a bit of inspiration out there for the writer, too.

I mainly use Pinterest to gather writing ideas - and tips, too! - but there's a treasure trove of resources out there. I also use Pinterest to find ways to help with the technical side of creative writing, which includes stuff like character development, setting development, descriptions, and so on.

Reading

It is said that you become a better writer when you read...and that can't be more true. Not only have I learned from the best novels, but I've also learned how not to write, handle a plot twist, develop a character, etc.

Now, I'm not saying to blatantly copy what you do like from books. We have enough copies of Twilight and Harry Potter, it seems like. I'm just suggesting that you take a second look at the books you've read as far as the writing is concerned: What did you like the best? What didn't you like? How would you handle that twist or that character arc differently?

Finally, let's talk about another medium that might be a surprisingly good help...

Video Games

Believe it or not, video games are actually another great source of inspiration as far as writing goes. The typical "guy saves the girl from the big evil dragon" storyline can fit both a book (re: Sleeping Beauty) and a video game (re: Super Mario Bros.), and well, too.

In fact, I was playing a video game recently, and I was getting frustrated with the way pacing was handled. The characters really didn't do a whole lot of showing, just a lot of telling...scenes in the game where characters just stood around and talked about what was going on or about to happen took about twenty minutes.

Doesn't that sound a lot like something you'd be frustrated with in a movie or a book?

Now, I'm not a HUGE gamer, but I do know that video games give players the chance to interact with a story as opposed to just being an observer or spectator. Sometimes, interacting with a setting or certain characters has given me ideas for how I want to handle a setting or my own characters in my own work.

So, what do you do to find inspiration, whether it's in writing or any other kind of work? Let me know down in the comments! :) Thanks for reading, y'all.
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