Sparking Ideas

As creatives, fresh ideas are our stock and trade. They are our fuel. They energize and enliven our stories and make writing more fun. Who doesn’t feel excited when a fabulous new idea floats into our head? Here are a few simple ways to spark innovation and creativity:

Make lists: When we’re stuck or in need of a new plot twist or a new character quirk or move, many of us take the tried-and-true approach of jotting down a list of ideas in a notebook or on our computer. But most of us stop after two or three possibilities. Turning to the “The Rule of Six” can help. Usually, your first three ideas tend to be the obvious ones that are top of mind. Why not dig deeper? Challenge yourself to come up with three more and often you’ll find your mind starts playing. You may just come up with some offbeat, odd idea that really sings.

Make believe: When you’re searching for a new idea, one of the simplest ways to pry one loose from your brain is to ask “What if?” Questions challenge your mind to come up with answers. “What if an elderly couple arrange to adopt an orphaned boy to help them, but end up with a girl instead?” This question simple question, jotted down in a notebook one day became the seed of the beloved classic, “Anne of Green Gables,” which went on to become a whole series of books. Why not play the “What if…” game and see what unexpected places it takes you?

Make tracks: There’s plenty of evidence to support the notion that straining after an idea creates a level of frustration and anxiety that isn’t really helpful. But allowing yourself to become just a tad frustrated and then backing off and doing something completely different—something that’s repetitive and seemingly “mindless” allows your brain the time and freedom to dips into its vast resources and help you. So next time you feel stuck, why not take a walk or do a bit of gardening? You might be surprised at what pops into your head when you least expect it! Your mind loves a challenge.

Make magic: Sometimes something fresh and new can spring from combining two unrelated ideas. When you put them together, you generate a concept or theme that’s unusual enough to be intriguing for readers and engage them. Taking a bu;nah of kids and putting them in a school for wizards—that unique combination gave J.K. Rowling a hit children’s series. Why not come up with a cocky combo of your own?

Fresh ideas—what fun they offer both us and our readers! Howe do your spark them in your own work? I’d love to hear any strategies that work well for you as we all write on!

Please help KWD grow by sharing:


About karinwritesdangerously

I am a writer and this is a motivational blog designed to help both writers and aspiring writers to push to the next level. Key themes are peak performance, passion, overcoming writing roadblocks, juicing up your creativity, and the joys of writing.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Sparking Ideas

  1. Bing Chang says:

    Please try the DAT test for creativity:

  2. Hi Bing,

    Thanks so much for sharing this link — so much fun to check it out!

    Write on,

Leave a Reply