“You don’t build a story, you allow it to explode.” - Ray Bradbury.
Allowing a story to explode is great when the juices are flowing. But what do you do on those occasions with the explosion fizzles and inspiration is needed to rekindle the flame? What happens when you are unable to write an article or blog because your muse has chosen a most inopportune time to take a leave of absence? Are there days you stare into space making demands on your imagination only to have your brain refuse to participate in the exercise? Or, have ever looked at your computer screen and discovered you have typed “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog” two hundred and sixty three times?
Speaking as someone that has suffered from all the above afflictions at one time or another, I’ve compiled a list of ten sites (in no particular order) that had helpful, unique and interesting ideas or prompts:
Creativity Portal has beautiful photos offering excellent visual prompts. They also have a list of other resources for blogging and writing ideas.
The list of 25 Unique Places to Find Story Ideas on Writing-World.com suggests TV guide listings, the yellow pages and even browsing through a card shop.
An article on eHow.com lists five useful ways to come up with ideas such as combining two of your favorite stories to come up with a third. Their example used Pride and Prejudice combined with Clan of the Cave Bear.
How to generate hundreds of writing ideas on Daily Writing Tips suggests setting a timer for five minutes and jotting down as many ideas as you can.
How to come up with new ideas on HubPages advises reading forums and message boards as the questions people ask can spark new ideas.
Zen Power Writing 15 tips on how to generate ideas and write with ease on Write to Done offers the idea of meditating five minutes before starting to write.
300 Writing Topics on About.com divide ideas into sections such as narrating, comparing and describing.
In The Big Time Attic Blog there’s a suggestion to randomize by selecting a Pictionary card or opening to a random page in a dictionary or novel.
On Grammar Girl, Story Ideas and writers block is an interesting post dividing ideas for non-fiction and fiction. My favorite fiction idea recommends reading Twitter posts.
Though the article 50 Places to shop for story ideas on Reporting Resources is geared towards journalists, there are good general ideas for writing prompts such as eavesdropping in the grocery line or reading the classified ads.
What method(s) do you use to combat writer’s block? Do you know of other sites that have helpful advice for generating ideas?
Thanks for stopping by.
Tags: Bradbury, writing prompts, writer’s block, generating ideas, Twitter, Pictionary,