Writing Tips: So How Do You Come Up With Ideas, Anyway?

Hey guys! I’m here with another Writing Tips, and this time it’s going to be all about brainstorming! As an English tutor, I often help students come up with ideas for their papers, and it seems to be something that many people, authors or not, seem to struggle with. Actually, a lack of ideas is a form of Writer’s Block, and it can be a difficult one to deal with! It took me three days of brainstorming to come up with even the faintest idea for my current WIP! Below are some tips to make the process easier, though. Check them out!

What Inspires You?

If you’re having trouble coming up with ideas, find what gives you inspiration! It could be your favorite movie, or a book, or a video game. Maybe it’s certain songs you like. Whatever it might be, listen to it, watch it, read it, play it. Any of these things might give you a spark of an idea, or even the inspiration to just write in general. Whatever it might be, anything goes! Find what inspires you the most and run with it! Also, there are a couple other things like going for a walk or run, or working out, or anything that gets your mind working. Find what works for you!

The “What If…” Game

This is something I used to play a lot when I was younger, especially on car rides. For this, you can pick a random person off the street, or anything really. Once you’ve chosen something, you make an entire story with it. For example, perhaps there is a guy in a suit looking happy. What if…he just got a new job? What if he’d been trying to find a job for a long time? What if he really needs the money? You can go on and on like this, and it can be pretty helpful! If anything, it is fun, too! But you don’t have to play this with stuff you see in real life. You can use this to twist cliches, or other stories you find interesting. If you already have the start of an idea, it can also help to move the story along, too!

Write Anything

Something I tell my students to do a lot is to just free write. Write absolutely anything that comes to mind, even if it doesn’t make any sense. By doing this, you get your creativity going, and you might find yourself writing down the perfect ideas for a story. You can also do this for a certain topic as well. Suppose you know you what to write a story involving mermaids, as I did when I was trying to come up with a plot for my WIP. Then sit down and write absolutely anything that comes to mind about mermaids. Or about trees, or giants, or the sky. Anything! Once you’ve written as much as you want, take a step back and highlight the things that you can turn into an idea. And with that, you’re well on your way to putting together a story!

Trade Ideas With Others

I’ve found chatting it up with my writing buddies helps a lot with coming up with ideas. Perhaps they give me inspiration, or they think of different directions I could go in with my stories. Brainstorming with someone else can make the process a little faster, and it brings a different perspective to the table. And hey! Once you’ve got the story down, they can give you feedback on it, too! In turn, you can also share some of your ideas with your buddies. It’s fun for everyone involved!

Have Fun With It!

And the number one rule is to not stress yourself out over it! Writing can be difficult, but you should have fun with it! Write what you want, and come up with ideas that you think would be fun to write. No one likes to write something that’s boring, and no one will want to read something that’s boring, either. If you’re having a lot of trouble getting an idea, take a step back and focus on something else. Pray about it. Let your mind rest. Then come back to brainstorming and see if you can come up with something. Just make sure you have fun with the process!

That’s all the tips for now! I hope you found this to be helpful. Let me know your brainstorming strategies in the comments, I would love to hear from you! And with that, God bless y’all and have a wonderful week!

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