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.


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.


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 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.


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