Before you even put pen to paper or finger to keyboard, you need to have an idea. Some call it a spark of genius, others just dumb luck. No matter how it gets to your brain, that is where the magic starts. Here are a few ways I get my ideas flowing.
As if you needed an excuse to binge your favorite programming.
I am a sucker for Foreign dramas! Give me a K-pop idol crush, a scandalous telenovela, or a black comedy from across the pond. Stepping outside of your head could be just the thing to get back in it. There is a reason why fanfiction is so popular. Even the best plots can deal with a little tweaking or continuation. Just remember to put your own spin on things to avoid plagiarism. Any streaming service with a wide variety of international content is golden. I’ve found Netflix to be the cheapest and most extensive but I’m sure there are other great options available too, you just have to look!
A great example of a story being revamped for different audiences are the multiple adaptions of the Manga Series Itazura na Kiss written by Kaoru Tada
My fave adaptations
Mischievous Kiss (Japanese TV)
Playful Kiss( K Drama)
It started with a kiss (Taiwanese film)
Music had been extensively researched in its ability to effect mood and productivity levels but just like my favorite dramas, a good heartfelt melody can be the perfect backdrop for an inspired writing session or the bases of a scene. Try movie scores to set the mood. Country, blues, and R&B/Soul are great places to grab an emotional storyline. Don’t forget that music can also provide visual inspiration through music videos!
I used Who Knew by Chloe X Halle as my mood setter for Unforgettable Valentine!
Original Opening Paragraph from 2019
Ever have a day that turned out crazier than anyone would believe? Well, guess what? You just found a new story or poetry idea. Your local news outlet might have some crazy story ideas for you too. Imagine your character as one of those laid off journalists or perhaps fictionalize the life of an Oscar Winning Composer
When I first wrote this post like most of us I had no idea what as in store for us in 2020. Current Events became a nonstop stream of shenanigans even the most dramatic and twisted Author wouldn’t have dared cram into a single novel. That being said, using current events is still good advice. No matter your genre a level of relatability can be achieved by tying in a major event from the time period your work is set in or maybe putting a spin on one for a fantasy world. However, although I would never get in the way of anyone’s personal freedom writing Corona Stories is a bit to soon for my taste.
Maybe you don’t have time for inspiration to just strike or you’re feeling a tad lazy on the imagination front. There are plenty of places online to find writing prompts. My favorite places are Reddit and Google. Seriously! Just google writing prompt and your preferred style/genre. I dare you.
A simple google search can lead you in the “write” direction!
While I still feel this is valid advice. I myself have moved away from this. I have a new prompt tactic that I will share in the next section!
Random word generator– There are several random word generators online that give you a handful of words to test your creative ability.
Word generators are great but if you want a low-tech option that’s less likely to land a virus or get you spammed with gross ads, grab some popsicle sticks and a dictionary. Write a word or phrase on each popsicle stick and keep them in a cup on your desk. If you get stuck, grab a stick and see where your imagination takes you.
This method can be further expanded on to include a variety of writer’s block helpers which I will further detail in another post.
Now that you’ve gotten a few ideas on where to get ideas, it’s time to bust out your favorite writing tool(s) and get to work! Feel free to share your muse magic in the comments.