Where Do Successful Authors Get Their Most Brilliant Writing Ideas?

Where do authors get their best writing ideas

Where do authors get their best writing ideas?

Do writing ideas just fall out of the sky? Is it reasonable to sit around waiting for a great idea to land on your lap, so you can write the next big bestseller?

I don’t think so.

When it comes to developing worthwhile writing ideas, it’s either feast or famine for most of us. Some writers have so many ideas, we can’t decide which one to pursue. Other writers struggle to find something worth writing about; they don’t have enough ideas.

And even if you have a compelling idea, the idea itself might not sustain a story or a poem. It’s not enough to have a concept: you need characters, settings, plots, subplots, and themes.

When writers are at a loss for ideas, they often self-diagnose with writer’s block. I believe that’s a misdiagnosis. People struggling with writer’s block aren’t at a loss for ideas. Many are merely dismissing their own good ideas (often because they aren’t perceived as original enough), or they don’t want to put a lot of effort into looking for ideas. I also think that poor health or stress are sometimes misread as writer’s block, in which case the only cure is to take better care of oneself.

However, for the rest of us who are struggling to find the right ideas, there’s no shortage of sources we can turn to for inspiration. Why not start at the top? Why not find out where some of the most successful authors have gotten their brilliant writing ideas? If that doesn’t inspire us, I don’t know what will. Read More

12 Places to Find Awesome Writing Ideas

where to find awesome writing ideas

Where to find awesome writing ideas.

We look high. We look low. Sometimes it feels like we’ve been looking forever and will keep looking forever more.

Ideas. They’re out there and we know it. But where are they hiding? Why do they keep escaping us? How can we catch them?

Writing ideas are not always easy to come by. Most ideas get tossed aside because they’re not original or interesting enough. So we constantly search for ideas that will capture our imaginations and keep us happily tapping away on our keyboards.

Not every writer is on this quest. Some writers are overwhelmed with inspiration and can’t find enough time to realize every brilliant idea. The rest of us are always on the lookout for exciting writing ideas to add to our inspiration archives. Read More

How to Engage Readers with Emotionally Charged Writing

creative writing prompts

Creative writing prompts that you can really feel.

In fiction and poetry, one of the greatest skills that a writer can possess is the ability to make the reader feel. If you can engage readers on an emotional level, you’ll have them hooked.

Think about it. Most of the books, poems, movies, and TV shows that you love best are the ones with which you forged an emotional connection. You felt like the characters were your friends, so you felt for them. You felt with them.

Sounds easy, but emotionally effective writing can be a complex and difficult endeavor. Let’s look at a few simple guidelines you can use to produce emotionally compelling creative writing. Read More

How to Stay Inspired

writing ideas

How to stay inspired.

Writer’s block is probably the most frustrating experience any writer faces. You feel creative and you want to create, but you’re just not inspired.

It happens to most artists from time to time, this disconnect from the muse. Yet there are creative people who seem to have overcome artistic roadblocks — authors who publish multiple novels every year, filmmakers who produce annual blockbusters, and musicians who are on the top-ten list week after week. They know how to stay inspired, but how do they do it? Have they tapped into a secret, endless stream of ideas?

How can you tap into that stream? Read More

How to Play and Pretend Your Way to Breakthrough Writing Ideas

writing ideas

Play and pretend your way to writing ideas

My little niece used to love to sit with a grown-up book spread across her lap, reading a story out loud — except she couldn’t read yet. She was making it all up — pretending.

During play, she invented new words. One time we were playing with some toys, and I asked one of their names. Without missing a beat, she made up the name Hoken. Hoken sounds to me like a great name for a character in a science fiction or fantasy story.

Play and pretend can lead to some innovative writing ideas, whether you’re looking for a simple concept for starting a new writing project or trying to break through a block in a project that you’re already working on. Read More

10 Descriptive Writing Practices

descriptive writing

Descriptive writing: Do your readers see what you see?

Descriptive writing is the art of painting a picture with words.

In fiction, we describe settings and characters. In poetry, we describe scenes, experiences, and emotions. In creative nonfiction, we describe reality.

Classic literature was dense with description whereas modern literature usually keeps description to a minimum. Read More

How to Find Writing Inspiration When Your Muse is on Vacation

writing inspiration


Is your muse on vacation? Get your writing inspiration here!

Have you ever sat down to start a new writing project and then realized an hour later you were still sitting there, staring idly at the blank page?

Sometimes writing inspiration doesn’t come easy.

In a writer’s ideal world, the blank page is something we always look forward to, a fresh canvas we can color with ideas and texture with language. When our muse is dancing around, we feel motivated and inspired, so the blank page feels like the start of an exciting adventure.

But if our mind isn’t in the right place, if our muse is on vacation, that same page is nothing but a source of frustration. Read More

Borrowing, Stealing, and Building Upon Other People’s Writing Ideas

writing ideas

May I use a few of your writing ideas?

From epic romances to fantastical adventures, stories have been captivating audiences for centuries, and they have been inspiring writers (and other artists) for just as long.

There is a longstanding tradition among storytellers of re-imagining or expanding the greatest legends, myths, and fairy tales ever told, from the Greek classics to last summer’s blockbuster films.

Certainly, many derivative works are frowned upon. You can find lists of authors who do not allow (and pursue legal action against) stories written in their worlds. You can find reviews that call such stories rip-offs or refer to authors as hacks who have done nothing more than steal someone else’s writing ideas.

But you can also find some impressive and respectable derivative works in films, novels, and television. In fact, many derivative works are embraced, beloved, and achieve critical and commercial success, plus massive fan followings.

So, when is it acceptable to use other people’s writing ideas? Why do some of these stories get heavily criticized while others are widely celebrated? Read More

Are Paper Notebooks Better for Creative Writing and Brainstorming?

creative writing notebooks

Is paper better for creativity?

These days, we writers use computers, electronic tablets, and even our smart phones for most of our creative writing. But a lot of us admit there’s still something about good old-fashioned pen and paper that really gets creativity flowing.

It’s difficult to brainstorm on a computer or jot down notes and random thoughts, and it’s impossible to doodle in the margins (unless you have fancy equipment). So for journal writing, note-taking, and brainstorming sessions, I find electronics to be confining.

Over the years, I’ve collected hordes of journals and notebooks. Some of them are pretty and whimsical. Others are simple and functional. I always go through lots of spiral notebooks for business note-taking, but when it comes to creative writing and brainstorming, I have learned (the hard way) that I have basic but specific needs that my notebooks and journals must fulfill. Read More

Get Creative By Stepping Out of Your Comfort Zone

get creative

Get creative by getting out of your comfort zone.

How comfortable are you with your writing?

Many writers specialize in a genre or niche. Creative writers are focused on fiction or poetry, copywriters specialize in marketing, and technical writers are bound by jargon and code that other writers might find impossible to decipher.

Sure, some of us explore various types of writing, but how deeply are we willing to immerse ourselves into unfamiliar waters?

A novelist might dip her toes in copywriting. A copywriter might wade in children’s literature. Have you ever wondered what it would be like to dive into a completely new form of writing or what it would be like to explore a form you’ve only tested? Are you willing to challenge yourself and get creative by trying something new? Read More