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by Bernie
Rated: E · Article · Writing · #112506
Some advice on how to come up with ideas for stories.
Often, many writers go through writer's block, where they aren't able to write anything. It varies between writers, depending on if you can or can't come up with ideas. If you can, some can't develop them into anything more than a couple of sentences, or maybe nothing at all. To help, I've thought of a couple of things I use, when I get in a slump:

*Bullet* Relax and just don't think about writing. I know it's hard, but try thinking about something else. Being tense often causes you to try too hard, and then you just can't concentrate.

*Bullet* Don't think about your story. Get up and away from the computer if you have to. Go keep your mind occupied with something else. Often, ideas and plots can come to you when you least expect it!

*Bullet* Listen to some music. This gives you something to concentrate on, and often music can spur up ideas for stories, characters, or plots.

*Bullet* Go for a drive or a walk. Lots of times nature can give you ideas for a setting for a story or even a story idea.

If you're stuck for a story idea, you can try some of these ideas:

*Bullet* Just write down random things you find interesting. (ex: baseball, elves, pirates, pixies..) Often, you can see something and it'll spark an idea!

*Bullet* Watch a movie, the news, or read a book, magazine, newspaper, and/or pamphlets. Often you can get ideas from seeing something and you'd like to do something similar, or something regarding to something you've seen or read (Reminder: Watch your ideas and make sure they're not the same as that you've read and/or watched. That's called plagerism and it's illegal.)

*Bullet* Take a drive or a walk. Nature can be a great thing for bringing up a setting for a story or even a story idea or a plot. Sometimes even just the way the weather is, or if the roads are busy or empty, can spark an idea about something you can write about. Even looking out the window at whatever is outside can bring an idea.

*Bullet* If you ever get an idea, write it down. It might be a good idea to keep a small notebook or pad with you, so you can jot down certain ideas. If you're a poet, this is also a great idea, so when inspiration comes, you can quickly write down a line or even the whole poem.

*Bullet* You can even ask other people, if you are completely blank of ideas. Don't be persistant or an annoyance, or you won't get anything. Just casually ask someone if they were to read something, what would they like to read about. Or ask another writer, and ask them if they have any ideas. Because of the way the system is set up here, on Writing.Com, you can go to the genre you write in, find an author and email them.

Having trouble coming up with names for your story? Want something classical? Maybe something totally new and original? Well...

*Bullet* Get yourself a baby book! You can find these in thrift/second hand stores or even in yard and garage sales. Also, you can find them in the check-out lanes in your local grocery. These have names for both boys and girls, and depending on when they were published, it'll have the popular names from that time.

*Bullet* Surf Google or Yahoo. Just put in whatever type of name you're looking for, and 99% of the time, you will get a site in relevance to what you're looking for.

*Bullet* Watch television, read a book, magazine, and/or newspaper, and listen or look for a name that catches your eye.

*Bullet* If you're looking for more of a classical name, you can ask your grandparents, or maybe even your aunts and uncles, or maybe even your parents. If you're looking for more of a hipper name, ask your friends.

*Bullet* If you want to give an old name a new twist, trying spelling it a different way.
(ex: Simon = Psymon)

If there is a certain subject you are having trouble with, do some research! If you would really like to incorporate an idea you don't know much on, this would be a great idea. You want your story to be the best that it can, and if you just write what you think you know, it will either come out bad or well, bad. So, here is a small list of things you can use to do some research:

*Bullet* The internet! This is a great tool to do research because everything you need is only a mouse click away. Using search engines, such as Google, are your gateway into a world of knowledge.

*Bullet* Your local library. Here you have thick and maybe not so thick, texts of anything you might need. Plus, they can have audio or even visuals that you can borrow and use.

*Bullet* Writing.Com! This site can help you in so many ways. Because of it being such a huge community, there are many people who write in many different genres. There are also groups devoted to certain genres. So, there is always someone at hand, ready to help you with whatever questions you might have. *Smile*

*Bullet* The television is also a good tool. Of course, it depends on where you go and what's on, but there are certain channels devoted to History, Health, Pets, etc. It's not the best tool available, but it is there if you ever need it.
© Copyright 2001 Bernie (msbiggs at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.
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