Ideas are everywhere. Just look at the people
around you – there is something interesting or something dull or boring about
every person you meet.
Your mom might be a pianist that might have
become famous had she pursued her desire instead of giving up the fame and glory
to start a family.
Your father might have been a famous astronaut if
he hadn’t had a heart attack the morning he was to go to the moon. Or your
handicapped sister entered a wheel chair racing marathon and came in first
place. Even if she’d placed last place, there is still an interesting story to
be told from the viewpoint of your sister.
Ideas are endless – they’re everywhere. Even the
neighbourhood dog that bites people and still allowed to run loose in the
neighbourhood hides a story just waiting for someone to find it. Suppose the
mean dog attacks a little child two or three while it is outside. Suppose it
attacks an old lady walking down the sidewalk, causing her to fall down and
break her hip while it bites and nips at her face and forearms.
Your childhood – your parents’ childhood – ideas
are everywhere. Take a look around you and write down every possible idea you
can think of to write about. If you can write out a grocery list, you can write
out an idea list.
I have found that brainstorming occasionally
refreshes my mind and gives me the freedom of really using my brain. My idea
list usually is recorded in a spiral notebook – I have several that are already
There have been three tragedies over the last
five years that occurred in my family involving four of my children, with three
of those four now dead. They were freak accidents that happened at different
times. This last tragedy that involved my teenaged daughters Brandie and Melanie
sparked several writing ideas – dealing with a brain injured child, sibling
death, overcoming tragedies, when your child dies, safety of seat backs or lack
thereof, air bags – the pros and cons – choosing the best brain surgeon – the
list goes on and on.
From this tragedy, Melanie – only 17 – lived only
six days after the wreck. Her brain stroked and died. Brandie, 18, remained in a
coma for the next three weeks – doctors feared the worst for her – they
counselled with us and told us the things we might expect when she woke up –
they feared she wouldn’t remember any of us or anything about her past life. It
was the hardest not knowing because there was the constant reminder that she
might not wake up at all. She took pneumonia while she was in a coma and that
was life-threatening in itself. Loosing one daughter was enough – we were
holding onto Brandie with every bit of love, prayer and hope that we had.
Miraculously, she pulled through and spent the next few months in rehab. She is
almost totally recovered after the wreck but the mental and emotional scars it
has left on her and our family will probably never heal. Burying Melanie was a
horror story in itself.
From this tragedy stems my romance/suspense novel
Till Death Do Us Part – it is on the market today with Harlequin Romance.
From this same tragedy, several articles, short stories and poems have been
written, some even published.
Ideas are all around you. Look around.
As a child, my favourite book was Harriet, the
Spy. Later, in my adult years, they made it into a movie. It was one of my
favourite stories. Using a spiral notebook, like the little girl character named
Harriet, was her way of collecting ideas and spying on people. Even for writers
today, it is still easiest and least expensive way to record ideas, story plots
or just for brainstorming ideas. Look in every crook and cranny and you’ll find
something to write about.
Below are several tips for finding ideas to write
1) Old ideas rewritten become new ideas – search
through your files and find something you’ve written that has been published, or
not, and rewrite it with a fresh, new approach and new ideas.
2) Brainstorm whatever comes to mind – grab
something off your list and brainstorm on that subject matter for ten minutes.
Keep trying this until you have several ideas that are worth writing about.
3) Read someone else’s short story and rewrite it
to suit you. How many times did you read something and hate the ending or how
they handled the whole story?
4) Watch an episode of Golden Girls and write a
new millennium version. How old are they now? Is Sophia in a nursing home or has
she passed away? Is Blanche still a slut? Are any of the Golden Girls still
working? Who knows? You might even get to direct your own series someday!
5) Search through various magazines and
newspapers and find a topic that interests you. Before reading their version,
write your own and compare the two when you’re done. Chances are, yours is
better – fresher. Get it ready to send to another magazine that accepts the same
type of material.
6) Browse writer’s guidelines.
7) Write in your journal on a regular basis.
Story ideas are usually there somewhere.
8) Attend a writer’s workshop or writing group –
you’ll be amazed at the ideas floating around.
Your own life is a storehouse for ideas. They are
old ideas, but given a new twist from a different writer, they become new ideas.
It’s up to you to capture one and make it your own. A little creativity on an
old subject can go a long way. One idea can be written many different ways.
Once, I looked through my filing cabinet – there were eighteen articles I had
written on the subject of writer’s block. They were all different – even in
length. But they were all about one main idea. Needless to say, I don’t need to
write about that subject again for a long time!
If you find yourself asking “What do I write
about?” the answer is simple – write about what you know. Take an old idea and
write into a new one…
uses English spelling conventions.
Spellings such as "realise"
differ from other spelling conventions
but are nonetheless correct.
Up Publishing offers contest refunds Up Publishing has reported having "bitten off more than it could chew" with regards to the competition it ran in 2007, following the loss of three of the five people involved in running the venture.
John Lynch of Up Publishing has
stated that the contest will be brought to a conclusion, but that it will take much longer than anticipated. To avoid any imputation of impropriety, all entry fees will be refunded.