Every writer gets the question… “where do you get your ideas?”
I’m always surprised when someone asks me this. What do you mean? Don’t you hear the voices too? The characters knock on the inside of my brain, waiting for me to give them something to do. When something piques my interest or strikes me as absurd, a new character surfaces, a new plot emerges or an existing plot line changes course. Everything in life is fodder for the writer.
It’s the little details that fill in life’s wrinkles that I find most interesting. My husband is left-handed, I am right-handed. Even after 12 years of marriage, I’m still surprised when I find something that he’s done “backwards.” He puts the toaster in the cabinet the opposite direction than I think is “right.” Things like this make me more aware of my surroundings and give me a different perspective on life in general. If my muse is being particularly ornery, sometimes I find it helpful to switch up my normal routine. It can be something as simple as sitting in a different place to write, rearranging furniture or lighting new candles. Change is a fantastic way to get a new perspective and maybe jumpstart the writing process.
When change fails, I like to use writing prompts. Sometimes a prompt can result in a short story, sometimes it’s led to a novel-length project, or just a scene in a work in progress (WIP). I’d like to offer a short list of new writing prompts to help you jump start a project or get your imagination to a new place. Sort of fuel for the writer. I’ll blog a new list every Friday. These lists will cross genres.
Fuel for Friday, September 1, 2010
1. You walk into your apartment after a long weekend away and find your goldfish dead… speared with a miniature sword.
2. Your main character is at a fancy dinner party at the server places a plate in front of him/her. On the plate is a face.
3. Finish this sentence: “This shirt is _____.”
4. Someone receives a picture on his/her cell phone of their best friend…. but their friend has been dead for a year.
5. A computer malfunctions and traps twelve people in a coffee shop with no electricity.
I hope something here can spark a moment of creativity for you. Happy writing!