Sometimes you’re just in the mood for writing something, but nothing springs to mind; or you’re in a writer’s group and the days are running out before your next meeting and you have no clue what you are going to write about.
Here are some thoughts from Lois Elsden:
Where do stories come from? Here are some ideas:
- an observation of people in the street, on a bus, in a shop, on the beach, walking by a river…
- people you don’t know but see arguing, kissing, looking at each other, not looking at each other, fighting, smiling secretively
- an incident you observed or witnessed
- a scrap of conversation you overheard
- the lyric of a song, a line from a poem, a phrase from a book
- an experience you had
- a strange coincidence
- a dream or day-dream
- a traditional story, myth or legend which suggests a modern re-telling
- another story you read, saw on TV or as a film, which suggests a situation, series of events, characters which you can rework to make your own
- the ‘what happened next’ of another story
- a what if… moment
- a family story – your own family or someone else’s
- unexplained inspiration
- a found photo… who are those people? How are they related, why are they there? What is the occasion? What are they really thinking? Who is taking the photo?
- something you pretend happened to you
- the story of your house, or a house you once lived in or a house someone in your family once lived in, or just a house you pass by on the street and are intrigued by
- something you would have liked to happen to you
- a news item
- a picture in a gallery, museum, on a wall in a waiting room, in a newspaper or magazine
- a film or a TV programme
- a song
- doors and windows – what’s behind them?
- a mystery or puzzle
- famous people, singers, actors, sports or TV personalities…
- your own family or friends – maybe disguised
Any of these suggestions or a combination of several of them can trigger a story.
Here’ a link to Lois’s e-books and her recently published paperback, Radwinter: