Traits for Primary Writers On this page, you can find six complimentary lessons from the guide 30 more lessons are in the purchase-able version.
Subscribe to our FREE email newsletter and download free character development worksheets! Cris Freese January 12, The best beginnings are based on strong story ideas that immediately set the book apart from all others of its ilk.
If you have a bad feeling that your story idea is not compelling or unique enough to hook agents or editors, much less readers, then this post is just for you. Because all other things being equal, the lack of a strong story idea is the biggest problem I see in manuscripts by writers trying to break into the business—or break out of the midlist onto the best-seller list.
Some of these tricks and techniques may seem a little offbeat to you, but give them a try anyway. Many are aimed at seducing your subconscious, a critical if obstinate ally in your quest to tell a good story.
So give me the benefit of the doubt regarding these tried-and-true brainstorming and idea-capturing methods. With thorough Brainstorming for writing of voice, point of view, setting, dialogue, and conflict, this book is a must-have tool for luring your readers in with your opening pages—and convincing them to stick around for the ride.
Pay Attention Paying attention is perhaps the most obvious and difficult way to generate ideas. Ideas are everywhere if you know where to look and remember to look there.
In a world where we are continually bombarded by sounds and images, overstimulated by everything from traffic to texts, and distracted from the minute we open our eyes in the morning to the last flicker of the screen before our weary eyes finally surrender to sleep, the gentle art of observation often goes unpracticed.
But like lightning, they come and go in a flash. So be ready to capture them. Keep a pen and a notebook in your pocket or purse, and failing that, you can always email yourself notes or use the voice recorder app on your phone.
I have sticky notes and index cards all over the house. I even sneak a pencil and paper into yoga class because doing yoga, like meditating, often acts like an idea faucet.
One downward dog and the faucet goes on—the ideas flow. Get Silly Being funny is, by definition, a creative act. The best punchline is a surprise—and we laugh at the novelty of the connection. See the humor in something, and the whole world may open up around it. Keep an Idea Box This may seem simplistic, but this practice really works.
Every writer should have a physical place, be it a box under the bed, a file cabinet in the corner, or a bulletin board on the wall, to keep anything and everything that might prove useful for a story someday.
Maps, postcards, souvenirs, slogans, affirmations, news clippings, photos, illustrations, magazine articles—collect them all. Think of the box as your secret treasure, and whenever you find yourself at a loss for a good idea, rummage through it.
I have an idea box, but I rarely go through it. Instead, I have covered the fronts of two cabinet doors with cork. Door 1 is my Plot Door, where I pin the index cards I use to plot my work in progress—a scene for each card.
On Door 2, I tack reminders of elements I might use in a story someday: Every time I look at it, I can almost feel my little grey cells start firing. Granted, my approach is that of a Luddite.
Some writers swear by Scrivener; others use Pinterest. Find what works for you, and get your own synapses firing.
Do Something Else Agatha Christie, whose diabolically clever ideas for mysteries still engross audiences nearly a hundred years later, used to say that the best time to plot a novel was while washing the dishes.
At more than two billion—yes, you read that right—copies sold, Christie is ranked by the Guinness Book of World Records as the best-selling novelist of all time. Which is enough to make me consider giving up my dishwasher permanently. Preferably something that occupies your conscious mind, letting your subconscious mind out to play.
Chores are good—mopping the floor, folding the laundry, polishing the silver, chopping wood, weeding the garden, ironing shirts, raking leaves—and they offer the added benefit of providing a sense of accomplishment and an orderly environment in which the chaos of your own creativity can hold court.
Just be prepared to stop mid-chore to run to your desk and capture all the great ideas prompted by that homely art of housekeeping. Be Happy Keeping a positive mindset is important, but being positive is only part of being happy.
To be truly happy, you need to go deeper than a positive outlook.
You need to believe that you are leading a meaningful life or, failing that, a life at least worth living. Fortunately for writers, writing is a way of creating meaning out of what for many can feel like an existential void.
That void is a source of sorrow, and sadness, like stress, is the enemy of creativity.MISSION STATEMENTS: IMPORTANCE, CHALLENGE, AND RECOMMENDATIONS FOR DEVELOPMENT (Abridged).
Source: Business Horizons, May/Jun92, Vol. 35 Issue 3, p34, 9p. If you feel that an outline is useful, make one after you complete the brainstorming activity. If you don’t, launch into whatever part of the topic attracts your attention based on your brainstorming output. The Writing Center Campus Box # SASB North Ridge Road Chapel Hill, NC () [email protected] Brainstorming.
Brainstorming, like freewriting, is a prewriting technique designed to bring subconscious ideas into consciousness. It's a good technique to use when you know a general subject you're interested in writing about but don't exactly know what aspect of the subject you want to pursue.
Writers sometimes experience a shortage of writing ideas, chaotic floods of ideas or no ideas at all that stalls writing projects. If you are experiencing this writers' peeve, try these proven brainstorming strategies to generate or organize new topic ideas, approaches and revive your stalled projects.
Ever been in a meeting where one loudmouth’s mediocre idea dominates? Then you know brainstorming needs an overhaul.