Saturday, August 31, 2013

Generating ideas

Generating ideas

I found an interesting thing on generating story ideas. It was a video posted at by Natalie Whipple, author of Transparent. It fits in with Deren Hansen’s post earlier this week.

Many, including Rick Walton, have touted the advantages of brainstorming to help jump-start a story. The whole idea of brainstorming is to throw out many, many ideas. That way, once the ordinary ideas have been exhausted, creative, unique ones come to surface.

Natalie takes it a step further. She says the key to generating story ideas is to let go of your preconceptions. Authors need to overcome their negative thinking that the idea is ridiculous or not new. Natalie admits that there are a lot of silly ideas are stupid and she notes many are not new. Yet ideas are just the beginnings of stories, not the end results. What you put into it, as a writer, is what takes the idea from silly and ordinary to refreshing and unique. The original idea is the first draft.

Ideas can come from inspiration, Natalie says. Seek ideas in other stories or through researching some aspect of your setting story or the setting. Finally, Natalie suggests living the life worth writing about. The more things you do, the more you have to write about. You experience things, come into contact with new people, new activities, all of which can inspire ideas.

Hmm. I’m okay with dull, but perhaps I should consider skydiving.

(This article also posted at

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