Coming up with Ideas for Creative Writing

Coming up with Ideas for Creative Writing

Creative writing has a good number of genres from which most budding authors want to identify themselves with. Non-fiction, poetry, short stories or novels. Most writers especially budding ones have an easy time deciding which amongst the genres to fall within, the main challenge usually is the subject of their writing. This is where ideas of what to write about become elusive. Creative writing is like a beach and the ideas to write about are the sand on the beach. They are limitless. Every idea can have the plot, theme, characters, story and even the language tweaked and be a completely different idea.

You, as a novelist, may come up with ideas to suit the plot or theme of his or her story, a poet may be interested in word play to get ideas to write about. A writer’s niche can be a factor in getting ideas to write about. However, all writers rely on certain common things to derive ideas to creatively write about.

  • Research
  • Experience
  • Imagination

These are the main libraries of ideas for creative writing.

Research

All writing, regardless of genre, needs research. Research is vital to every writer when coming up with ideas for their creative writers. It can be the backbone of the writing or can be the support for the writing idea. Research does not necessarily mean pile of books in a library, although some research is usually like that. Research may vary from the pile of books, TV shows, DVD etc.

  • Books – They are a great source of ideas for writers. Books have information that is too valuable to almost every writer. Examples of creative writing ideas from books.
  1. Magical creature with brutal strength. Many books have information on magical or cryptids ranging from dragons, griffins, werewolves etc. These book offer very detailed information to writers focusing on ideas to write about works of fiction. Harry Potter has various cryptids like the griffin and werewolves and a writer could borrow ideas from such a book while coming up with their own
  2. Crime and investigative stories. These kinds of stories rely heavily on knowledge from books to make them as captivating as possible. For example, a book on forensic pathology would be very useful to an author when writing about homicide.
  • TV shows and DVDs – At this time and age technology has made it possible for easy access to TV shows and DVDS. The ease of access provides many creative writers with easy access to ideas. Some of the ideas from TV shows.
  1. What would happen today to our country if the president was assassinated? Many TV shows have been produced around the possibility of the president’s assassination.
  2. How drugs are illegally brought into the country and their effects. TV shows have for a long time been producing shows on various ways drug lords are always finding ways to get their products into the country and source markets from within the country.

Writers make use every material at their disposal for research. Watching movies at a cinema, talking to people, overhearing certain conversations, reading at the library or online. Research can never be exhausted due to the very many different experiences different people have gone through. This also makes ideas inexhaustible. One of the bestselling books ever written on massive research is the Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown.

Experience

Many writers have sourced creative writing ideas from personal experience. These are things the writer has gone through or knows from studies or careers, hobbies, travels, things read, family life etc. Experience provides numerous ideas for very many writers. Examples of ideas from experience.

  • A doctor writing a book may write about the kind of illnesses encountered during the course of the career. Example of the doctors who worked with Ebola patients, this experience would make a good idea to write about.
  • A student may source ideas from what one has gone through in school, college or the university. The college life of a student from academics, social life, relations with lecturers and other students.
  • A sales person meets or talks to very many different people on daily basis. Each person usually has something different one can learn. Some of the people met may be polite, others rude, others indifferent. All provide ideas in a unique way.
  • A marine or any soldier for that matter, has vast experience and many ideas may come from the experience. During deployment tours the experience with the people of that country, the experience of wars, the different weather and even the day to day activities all give lots of ideas to write about. A good example is the Navy SEAL Chris Kyle who sourced ideas from his military experience to write his autobiography American Sniper.

Imagination

Imagination has endless possibilities. Anything can be imagined and can be written. Some of the best works in literature were conjured up from imagination. One of the most read books in the world Harry Potter by JK Rowling is a book based mainly on impeccable imagination. Imagination tops every other source of ideas for creative writing. Since imagination is limitless, ideas from imagination are thus limitless too, let’s mention a few.

  • Imagine today NASA proves that there is extra-terrestrial life, what next. Imagine if we contact them, how they would respond. What would they look like, how would they react, how intelligent are they as compared to us. Imagination makes all these possibilities become ideas to write about.
  • Imagine you became the president of the most powerful nation of the world, what would you do differently? What would your priorities be? What would you change for your nation? For any writer, this would offer a plethora of ideas on what to creatively write about.
  • Imagine technology got so advanced that robots became the norm and one day they overrun the human species and you are the only one capable of stopping them by uploading a virus on their main servers and are therefore hunting you down. How would you avoid being caught by them and thus save the human race?

Imagination, experience or research alone cannot be enough to get the best ideas. A writer has to combine more than one or all of them to get one of the best ideas. Great ideas have written some of the best works in creative writing. Curiosity is a writer’s best friend. If you are curious, ideas are easier to look for.

 

Creative Writing Topics and Prompts

Creative Writing Topics and Prompts

If you’re anything like me, you probably have ups and downs when it comes to writing. The last time I wrote a blog post will show you a bit about my struggles. Today, I’m going to propose creative writing topics and prompts.

Why? Some days you want to write but you feel like you are surrounded by a wall of bricks. You may end up staring at a blank page with nothing but frustration on your mind. Sometimes, all you need is something to spark the writing process.

Despite conflicting opinions writer’s block happens to very many writers, including some of the very much accomplished writers. If all you need is a spark, check out some of the prompts below to get you started.

  1. Given the chance to alter one event in history, which event would it be and how would you change it.
  2. Write about your opinion of the perfect home. What would it or would not have?
  3. You just woke up scared as hell, sweat dripping all over your body. Describe what you think your dream was about.
  4. Imagine you are in charge of a president’s protection unit and the president is going to a very unstable region. Write your experience during the trip and events that happen there.
  5. You have a chance to go anywhere in the world. Write about the place you would go.
  6. Imagine you own one of the largest media houses in the country, what do you think you would change about it?
  7. The investigative agency in your country have released a broadcast for a known dangerous terrorist, that terrorist is you 3 year boyfriend or girlfriend. Write a story about how you feel immediately and what happens next.
  8. You did something wrong and got away with it. Write about it.
  9. You have been brought up in a family that believes family is everything, then one day you find out your parents aren’t who they pretended to be. What happens next?
  10. Write a poem about for the most romantic date you have ever attended.
  11. You are a billionaire, you’re only child is almost hit by a car on the sidewalk but a homeless man saves your child and is hit by the car instead. What would you do to the man to show your gratitude?
  12. Write a story from the perspective of twins separated from each other at the age of 12 just to meet 10 years later.
  13. Her laugh broke the awkward silence…..
  14. What’s your idea of the perfect vacation?
  15. You have been told you have two weeks to live, what would you do?
  16. You are going home just to find your house no longer there. The neighbours are the same but have never seen you or heard of you before.
  17. Imagine reincarnation was real and you were given a chance to become any animal you would love to reincarnate as, write a story about your life as that animal.
  18. You are given a chance to decide which one should come first, the egg or the chicken. Which is your pick and why?
  19. Write a letter to the 16 year old you.
  20. An intelligent extra-terrestrial species has been found, you’re chosen to explain to them about our whole world and be taught about their world. What is your experience like?

Share a writing prompt that’s helped you get started.

Creative Writing for Kids

Creative Writing for Kids

I’ve been thinking about my son and how he’s struggled with writing. I, myself, didn’t get truly into writing until less than a decade ago. However, with him being in school and graded on his writing, it’s prompted me to investigate creating writing for kids.

Developing creative writing skills while very young has been proven to not only encourage children’s overall creativity but also improve their confidence and ability to express themselves. Cultivating these skills through guidance, support and encouragement can lead to a better academic and professional life. Guidance should not be harsh, but rather gentle. After all, we know how challenging writing can be.

Always allow room for the child to think outside the box and experiment with their ideas. Being the main audience of your kid’s stories, it is very supportive when you compliment them for impressive writing or creativity. Having genuine interest in your kid’s ideas encourages them to grow and expand their creativity.

Preparing your kid for creative writing

Getting your kid to love reading and writing is the first and most important step. This is easy, if as a parent, you create time to read and write with your kid on a regular basis. Creative writing for a kid requires the proper materials and a place with as little distraction as possible. The materials required may include:

  • Pens, pencils, erasers and maybe markers
  • A colorful notebook or journal
  • A dictionary
  • Drawing book for very young toddlers

Make creative writing for your kid fun

Kids are curious and have a knack for adventure. Incorporating these qualities into creative writing for kids makes them develop interest in flexing their creativity muscle. Everyone loves fun, especially kids.

  • Use art

For younger kids, art is a great way for them to express themselves. Asking a kid to draw something they like is a fun way for them to start getting creative. As time goes, the child is introduced to writing by providing captions to what they drew. After a while, giving the kid pictures to write a story about, becomes easier because they can relate to it.   This encourages the kid to keep learning and maintain the interest in creative writing.

  • Use fun prompts

Use of fun and simple prompts is a good way to actively involve your kid in creative writing. Prompts with thought invoking images are especially useful because visual cues stimulate imagination which in turn stimulates creativity. For example, a photo of a summer vacation followed by a simple prompt like “What did you enjoy most about the vacation?”

  • Make jokes

Adding jest to the stories you tell your kid(s) makes it enjoyable for them and hard to forget. For example, a father could tell kids “I had blue ill-fitting swimming shorts and dived into the pool, next thing I knew my swimming short was floating away from me!!”

  • Play word game or collaborative story games

Using word games with kids is quite beneficial for them, it helps build their vocabulary which is infinitely useful in creative writing. Try simple games like Letter Blocks and hangman for younger kids while for older kids Scrabble and Crossword Puzzle.

Vocabulary alone is not be enough in creative writing. That’s where collaborative story games become useful. You write a sentence and your kid writes the next sentence, then you again etc. With your help the kid learns when to use the vocabulary he or she has learned. It also teaches the kid proper sentence structures.

Assist your kid in looking for something to write about.

For many kids it challenging to start writing stories due to fear of a blank paper or fear of making mistakes and so on and so forth. When a child is stuck in writing, reprimanding the child could worsen their predicament. Inspiring your child by assisting with story ideas will go a long way in improving your child’s creative writing skills.

  • Use familiar situations to spark creativity

Everyday life activities offer the best spark for story ideas. They are things your kid relates with on a day to day basis. For example, an animal like the neighbors Labrador. Your child could write about what s/he thinks its eats, how it relates with other animals, say your cat. Why does it usually bark etc.

  • Use prompts

A blank page may freak out your child and prevent creativity from taking over. All they need is a little nudge to get them going. Nothing provides a nudge like a prompt. A prompt could be anything from a question to the opening line of their favorite book. For example, ask a question like “would you prefer being really tall or really short? Why?” A child would enjoy such a prompt.

  • Rewrite or mash up stories

Rewriting a story invokes creativity within a child. It may be difficult to come up with new characters in a story, rewriting a known story helps the child use the familiar characters to develop a different plot. A good example is rewriting a fairy tale.

Mixing of characters from different stories to create one story is also good way of sparking creativity in a child. For example, combining a fairy princess from one story with a mermaid from a different story would make invoke creative writing in your kid with your help.

  • Use Pictures

Nothing inspires creativity live visual cues, this cannot be stressed enough. Use pictures from the family album or even wordless books and ask your child to write captions or even stories to go with the pictures. As it is said, a picture is worth a thousand words.

Honing creative writing skills

Writing skills require constant practice to perfect. As writers, you know that. The best way for any parent to improve creative writing of their kid, is to encourage daily reading and writing.

Every writer is a reader and any reader can be a writer. Cultivating the reading habit within your child expands your child’s mind and thus increasing creativity.

Writing is not always a smooth sail, sometimes it gets difficult. Teach your child how to plan before writing, this makes it easier for your child to write when needed to write difficult things.

Sometimes your child may be reluctant to want to write, this is normal for everybody and taking some time off would be good for your child.

In creative writing practicing is crucial as it builds better grammar and creativity. If your kid practices they may end up loving creative writing.

What are some ways you’ve found to help increase creative writing in kids?

NaNoWriMo 2013

Congratulations, everyone! We made it! 2013 NaNoWriMo

So, yesterday I realized it was the day before big day, and I’d done NOTHING to prepare. No real story idea, no outline, no nothing. *sigh* What’s a girl to do?

Well, I played with DAZ Studio 3D. 🙂

I lay in bed last night/early morning, thinking about NaNoWriMo. Normally, I’m ready to put words on paper by the time I wake up, November 1. Today, would be the first day, since participating in NaNoWriMo for the first time in 2010, I wasn’t ready. I said to myself, I couldn’t even consider my lack of preparedness a setback. After all, it doesn’t take forever to come up with a story. In fact, I have oodles of story ideas sitting on my hard drive, just waiting to be cultivated. An outline might take a few hours, but the actual writing would only require an hour of my a time, if you refer to my last post on writing.

I finally settled on an idea… an apocalyptic, supernatural story I’ve wanted to write for a couple of years now. But as I lay in bed, I acknowledged something. I really am not in the mood to write. Yet, even as I type this, I feel my muse stir a bit… telling me to participate in NaNoWriMo.

I’ve tried to tell myself that it’s only an hour of my time each day. What’s an hour? Then I think of all that’s happening this month (moving halfway across the country, starting a new job, house hunting, driving my husband nuts) and don’t even want to bother with the extra stress of working on a book.

Things I’d Rather Do

Then I think about all the things I rather do than stress. I’m really enjoying my artwork (as amateurish as I am). I’m loving K-Drama, and I’ve even decided to get serious about becoming a bit fluent. I think about sacrificing an hour of my life each day for writing, and I’m just not feeling it.

Without making excuses… the bottom line is I just don’t feel like writing right now. haha Right now, this girl just wants to have fun.

So this year, I’m bypassing NaNoWriMo. Tell me, what does the month of November have in store for you? Are you participating in NaNo this year? Share your story idea.