Where do professional writers get their ideas and inspirations from? How story ideas just pop into the heads of authors? You would like to know the secret technique how to effortlessly crack out your bestsellers.
The truth is that you have more great ideas than you could ever write.
Really, you do! The problem isn’t a lack of great ideas; it’s that you have to rewire yourself to free these ideas from your brain.
Where to Start?
What really frustrates and confuses beginners is that you need to start with a solid premise or story idea. You either have an idea or you don’t. The core of this confusion is the belief that creation of a story idea is an event rather than a process.
Beginning writers believe that creating a work of fiction starts with a single event – a sudden burst of inspiration that pops a story idea into their minds. This single event then leads to the process of progressing that idea into a finished work. The truth is that coming up with a full, rich story idea is itself a process – a key to generating more ideas.
The Secret to Endless Ideas
Just sitting staring at a blank page and waiting for inspiration to click is not a secret sauce of success as a professional writer. Great ideas come from the act of writing. The secret to generating ideas is the same “secret” that solves every writing problem: writing itself. The old adage that “writers write” is true in many ways.
But what do you write about, if you don’t yet have that great story idea? The truth is you’ll be amazed at how much there is to write about, once you free yourself from the concept of story ideation as an event, and start to think of it as a process.
You can and should start with almost anything that you find interesting. You actually need very little inspiration to start writing. Maybe it’s a character sketch, a location that fascinates you, a clever line of dialogue, or even a great title.
How it works?
As a writer, you will start to collect these story beads as you go through your daily life. You’ll begin to notice when something you see or hear gives you that little tingle in the back of your brain that says there’s something there worth exploring. Pay attention to this and jot it down in your notebook.
When you later sit down to write, start with these beads. Just pick one and begin writing about it – what it makes you think of, how it makes you feel, what questions it raises. And write quickly. One of the keys to idea generation is to write as fast as you can. You don’t want to analyze anything yet. You want a volume of words on the page.
If you find yourself writing about something completely different from the bead you started with, just go with it. The idea is not to worry about structure, not to analyze where the story is going, not even to think about it as a story yet. Don’t make any decisions; just stay open and receptive to whatever comes. You want volume, varied thoughts, and a wealth of possibilities. You will be amazed at what’s in your brain just waiting to spill out onto the page. It’s like magic when it happens, and it happens every single time.
By feeding your brain a fertile mountain of images, characters, and possibilities it goes to work trying to make sense of it all. This process is where great story ideas come from.
That’s the secret to a lifetime of story ideas. Collect story beads from your everyday life, expand them into fertile story worlds and then condense those worlds down to beautiful, rich story ideas worth writing about.
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