Favorite Resources: Idea Inspiration
Full-length novel ideas generally develop organically for me, a slow process eased along by years of influences and fleeting thoughts, painstakingly hammered into a semblance of a linear story in torturous sessions of brainstorming and outlining. It is a convoluted process.
But there are times I want to write just for the sheer joy of writing, usually in the form of flash fiction or short stories. Just in the moment, gotta create, imagination regurgitated on the page. No subplots or intricate character growth required. For this, I turn to a few favorite resources which help stimulate my brain and get the words flowing.
Writer’s Digest - aside from a variety of other resources hosted on this site, there are several articles on prompts covering a broad range of genres. Some are more detailed than others, which is great when you need a little more prodding than usual.
Random Prompt Generators - These are just for fun. It’s difficult to write anything seriously from the suggestions generated on these sites (they're like Ad Libs for plots), but it can be an amusing break in your writing routine. Writing in a different way than your usual can often be a catalyst for a creative recharge to get you typing again. Some of the sites I have used before include Seventh Sanctum, Plot Generator, and Springhole.
Google or other search engines - If I’m completely honest, Google is my best friend. Ask it anything and there will be an answer. Maybe not the right answer or what you were expecting, but something. Just type in whatever comes to mind and browse what pops up. Read through the headlines and see if any snippets of a story come to mind. Do the same with images. Asking ‘what if’ questions of actual headlines is a great way to take a real life situation and meld it into a fictional tale.
Pinterest - Everybody’s favorite go-to for just about anything. It might take some serious scrolling, but you’re guaranteed to find something that hits your writing button. You can search for prompts by genre for list after list of one sentence story prompts, or just search for artwork and let the image alone stoke your imagination. Bonus, it can also be used as vision boards your writing projects, hobbies, or other interests. Feel free to check out my Writing Board or novel-specific boards to see what I’ve been up to.
Inspiration can come from anywhere. An interesting picture, a compelling phrase, or the languid wandering of the mind. What do you find inspiring when coming up with story ideas? I’d love to hear from you.
Until next time, Happy Writing.