In the latest Words and Pictures magazine from SCBWI-BI there is an article on turning ideas into stories. I decided to use this as the theme to todays blog. Here is a list of suggestions of places you can find ideas:
- At school
- Free writing
- Keeping a notebook
- Keeping a scrapbook of images
- Other stories
- Own children
I have found one minute, it seems like there are millions of ideas waiting to be explored, and the next, it appears that every topic imaginable has been done already. But, maybe that has more to do with the mood I’m in rather than the actual flow of ideas.
From the day I decided I want to be a writer, I started to carry a notebook on me. I write down everything, as my memory for trivia is awful. Talking to children, and listening to children, also gives me loads of ideas. Although, I am no longer teaching I am lucky, as I have three children and their friends, who like to get into mischief and that triggers lots of ideas too. I also have a rather vivid imagination.
Sometimes, I really have to make myself notice what is going on around me, as when I am working on a project, I find I mull it over in my mind and walk through real life in a daydream. Not such a good idea when you’re driving or trying to explain why you’ve reversed into the tree at the edge of the driveway… again.
Writing Exercises generate ideas as well. Here are some websites that are full of writing exercises and ideas:
- http://creativewritingprompts.com (fiction)
- http://journalsparks.com/ (non-fiction)
But what do you do with these ideas once you’ve got them? I write better if I have a writing schedule. I make a list everyday of the things I want to achieve. Also, being given a deadline helps to keep my focused.
Often an idea needs time to grow and sort itself out in my head. I tend to draft things on paper then re-write them on the computer and print them off. You can tell if something is really crap when you see it in print. I also pretend I am the character and act out little scenes in my head. Opps! There’s that tree again.