Do you ever get stuck when it comes to generating story ideas? It can be tough to develop something new every time, especially if you’re under pressure to produce content. In this blog post, we will walk you through a step-by-step guide on how to generate story ideas. We’ll give you some tips and tricks to help make the process easier and show you how to find inspiration in the world around you!
Finding the Right Frame of Mind for Story Ideas
The hardest part of being a writer is often not the actual writing but coming up with ideas in the first place. A blank page can be daunting, and it’s easy to get stuck in a rut of repeatedly coming up with the same old ideas. So how do you find new and interesting ideas to write about? It all starts with getting yourself into the right frame of mind.
Here are three tips to help jumpstart your creativity and get those story ideas flowing:
Keep a list of topics you’re interested in
A great way to come up with new ideas is to simply write down a list of topics you’re passionate about or find interesting. That way, when you’re feeling stuck, you can refer to your list for inspiration. Over time, you’ll also start to notice patterns and themes emerging, which can lead to even more story and plot ideas.
Set some structure for yourself
If you’re having trouble getting started, it can sometimes help to set some parameters for yourself. For example, you could give yourself a word limit or set a goal of writing for a certain amount of time each day.tempStructuring your creative process this way can help ease some of the pressure you may feel and make it easier to get those ideas down on paper.
Take some time to relax
It may seem counterintuitive, but sometimes the best way to jumpstart your creativity is to take some time for yourself and do something that relaxes you. Whether it’s taking a walk outside, reading your favorite book, or listening to music, clearing your mind can sometimes be the best way to open yourself up to new ideas. Once you’ve taken some time to relax, you may find that the ideas start flowing more easily.
Steal Like an Artist: How to Generate Story Ideas by Borrowing from Others
Some of the best stories are those that feel fresh and new, as though we’ve never heard them before. But the truth is, there’s nothing new under the sun. Every story has been told in some way, shape, or form. So how do we come up with ideas for stories that feel original? We borrow from other stories, of course! Here’s how to “steal like an artist” and generate original story ideas by borrowing from other sources.
The Importance of Borrowing Ideas
Borrowing ideas is not only perfectly acceptable; it’s essential for any writer who wants success. If you’re not borrowing ideas, you’re not being creative enough. Where do you think Shakespeare got the great idea for Romeo and Juliet? He didn’t invent the concept of two star-crossed lovers from different families; he borrowed it (and then made it his own) from a long-forgotten Italian tale. The same is true for almost every other famous story out there. To be a great writer, you must learn to take existing ideas and make them your own.
How to Borrow Ideas Creatively
Now that we’ve established that borrowing ideas are both necessary and normal let’s talk about how to do it in a way that results in truly original work. To borrow creatively, you need to start with a good foundation—something that inspires you and gets your creative juices flowing. This could be another piece of writing, a painting, a song, a film, etc. Once you have your foundation, it’s time to start playing around with the new idea and making it your own. Change the setting, the characters, the plot—whatever you need to do to create something new.
For example, let’s say you’re a big fan of Jane Austen novels. You could start by writing your version of Pride and Prejudice set in modern times. Or you could take the basic premises of Austen’s novels—a young woman looking for love in a small town full of judgmental busybodies—and set your story in outer space aboard a starship! The possibilities are endless. So get out there and start stealing like an artist!
Use Writing Prompts to Overcome Writer’s Block
Every writer knows the feeling of staring at a blank page, struggling to develop an idea for their next story. It’s a frustrating experience, but there are ways to overcome it. One of the best methods is to use a story prompt.
A story prompt is simply a starting point for your story. It can be a word, phrase, or even a complete sentence. The purpose of a prompt is to help you get your creative juices flowing so you can start writing your story. Prompts can be general or specific, but they should help you overcome that feeling of being stuck.
Here are three tips for using prompts to generate ideas for your next story:
1. Start with a premise
Often, writer’s block happens because we don’t know where to start. A prompt can help by giving you a premise for your story. For example, let’s say you want to write a mystery. A good mystery prompt would be, “To solve the murder, the detective has to figure out who had the most to gain from the victim’s death.” This gives you something to work with and helps you structure your story.
2. Use prompts as inspiration, not as shackles
Once you have your premise, it’s important not to get too tied down by the prompt. After all, the whole point of using a prompt is to help you be creative and come up with new ideas. So if you find yourself getting stuck, don’t be afraid to veer off course from the original prompt.
For example, let’s say you’re writing that mystery, and you realized that there are too many suspects with motives, and it’s becoming confusing. In that case, feel free to change the focus of your story from “who had the most to gain” to “who had the opportunity.” This will help simplify things and make your story more focused.
Or maybe, as you’re writing, you realize that one of the suspects is innocent, and there’s another character who is more suspicious. That’s fine! Go with your gut and trust your instincts as a writer. Prompts are meant to be helpful, not restrictive. So use them as inspiration and go where your creativity takes you.
3. Choose wisely
Not all prompts are created equal. Some are just better than others. If you’re having trouble finding a good one, try looking for specific ones. The more specific, the better. They should also be open-ended enough to give you room to be creative but not so open-ended that you don’t know where to start.
10 Places to Find Story Ideas
As a writer, it’s always important to have a well of story ideas that you can draw from when you’re feeling uninspired. Luckily, there are many places you can turn to when you need some assistance generating new ideas. Here are 10 of the best places to find story ideas:
- Personal experiences: One of the best places to start when looking for story ideas is your own life. After all, you know yourself better than anyone else! Think about times in your life when you’ve faced challenges, made tough decisions, or been put in an unusual situation. These are all great potential fodder for stories.
- The news: Another great source of story ideas is the news. Keep a close eye on current events and look for interesting storylines that could be developed further. All sorts of stories lurking in the headlines—you just need to find them!
- Folk tales and myths: Folk tales and myths are full of rich characters and plotlines that can be reinterpreted and given new life. If you’re looking for a truly original story idea, try taking inspiration from one of these timeless classics.
- Your dreams: Dreams can be a great source of inspiration for writers. After all, they’re full of strange imagery and unexpected twists and turns. If you keep a dream journal, flip through it next time you’re struggling to come up with an idea—you might be surprised at what you find!
- Online resources: Many online resources can help you generate story ideas. Combining these ideas can often generate an original idea.
- Conversation starters: If you’re looking for ideas for character-driven stories, conversation starters can be a great place to start. You can find all sorts of prompts online, but sometimes it’s even more fun to make up your own. Simply ask yourself what your characters say if placed in different situations—it’s sure to get the creative juices flowing!
- Books are another excellent source of inspiration for writers—after all, somebody had to come up with those stories in the first place! When you’re struggling to come up with an idea, try picking up a book and seeing what jumped out at you as being particularly well-done or unique. You might just find your next favorite story idea lurking between the pages!
- Imagination exercises: Sometimes, the best way to generate new ideas is simply by flexing your imagination muscles through some fun exercises. For example, try creating 101 different uses for an everyday object, like a paper clip or rubber band. Or try writing down 20 random phrases and then free writing combining them into a short story. The possibilities are endless—and so are the story ideas!
- Chance encounters: Another great way to find story ideas is by paying attention to when unexpected things happen in your daily life—you never know when inspiration will strike! Maybe you’ll overhear an interesting conversation on the bus ride home from work or witness a small act of kindness that will stay with you long after it’s happened. Whatever it is, be sure to take note of it — it might be the perfect seed for your next story.
- Other writers: If all else fails, don ‘be afraid to ask other writers to share their best tips for finding inspiration. Chances are, they’ve been through similar struggles at some point in their careers and will have plenty of advice (and even a few good story ideas!). Who knows — maybe you’ll even end up inspiring them in return!