Week of November 6—Strategies for Finding Ideas for Writing
Thursday, November 10—Growing an Idea from a Title or Topic
I’m sure it is apparent by now that I am a writing nerd! So it should come as no surprise that I am always on the lookout for writing ideas, topics, and inspiration. One of my more unusual writings habits involves magazines. I love flipping through magazines looking for article titles, advertisement headings, names of recipes, and more. I jot down what I find and add it to my writer’s notebook. (I admit, I do more magazine browsing than buying. So I always have a tablet or notepad nearby.)
Some of my favorite sources are:
· Women’s magazines
· Cookbooks and cooking magazines
· Craft magazines and books
· Cake decorating books and magazines
· Children’s magazines
As you are getting up from falling on the floor with laughter, let me say I’ve written an entire story with characters names based on chicken recipes, used the name of cake to create a setting story, and found interesting verbs in a knitting how-to book.
The first step in this process is to list what you find. A chart like the one below will help. List down the titles that pop out at you. Write notes about any photographs or illustrations that catch your eye. And be tuned into what’s going on in your brain. Often when you’re thinking about something random, another good idea will popped into your head. Jot everything down.
Picture Book Ideas from Titles
Ideas from Titles
Ideas from Photos and Images
Random Ideas that Pop Into Your Head
Once I have a title or topic idea, I begin to flesh out my story. Everyone does this differently. I recently developed a Picture Book Graphic Organizer to share with my critique group. Once you’ve discovered some titles and topics try out the graphic organizer to see if it propels your idea down the road to story-dom.
1. So what are you waiting for? Go search for those titles that can inspire a story!