Story Ideas: Where to Find Them

Has your idea well run dry? If so, take a second look. Story ideas are all around you – as close as your morning newspaper, your junk mail, and your next door neighbor. You simply have to tune in to those ideas. 

How? By becoming an observer of life. 

Dr. Dennis Hensley begins his writing day by reading the classified ads in his morning paper. As he drinks his coffee, he reads through the ads and circles ideas that jump out at him. In this way, he has gathered countless ideas for stories, articles, and books. 

Before you relegate your junk mail to the round file, look at it again. What potential characters are in those ads? What about conflicts, plots, or ideas for science fiction? You’ll be amazed at what you find once you look. 

A teller of stories must be an observer of life. Make it a priority this year to look around you. One exercise that helps me is to drive through my town as though I am a visitor. Try this yourself. You will be amazed at the things you see that you never saw before, simply because you took your town for granted and weren’t paying attention. And then let us know what you’ve discovered. 🙂 

P.S. Because of a heavier than usual writing schedule this year, I will be blogging only once a week. Look for posts every Friday starting on January 15th.

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2 thoughts on “Story Ideas: Where to Find Them

  1. One of the other things I’ve learned about ideas is to ask “What If?” Get as outrageous as you can, laugh, and pull back. Somewhere in there is a gem of an idea.

    Brainstorming with a writing partner is a good idea, too.

    January 8, 2010 at 6:38 AM