5 tricks to get the story ideas flowing

Cynthia A. Jensen

by Cynthia A. Jensen

It’s that time again: a new year rolling forward, a new decade full of hopes and dreams. What are your goals this year? How are you going to make them happen? Try to pick one goal and aim toward that. Set yourself up to succeed by choosing a goal that is obtainable—something that will get you going or continuing on your writing.

Here are 5 tricks to get the story ideas flowing:

1. Write in another location. If you are stricken with writer’s block, try writing in another location. Whether it be in your home, a library, coffee shop, or anywhere you can think and write.

2. Listen to music. If you like listening to music while you write, go for it. Not too loud, though, lest your muse’s voice get lost in the background.

3. Use your smartphone to capture ideas. When an idea hits, type out as much as you can on your note-taking app—enough so that you don’t forget what the idea was. I’ve written down things with not enough information and I’ve ended up scratching my head wondering what the heck I was thinking. You never know when or where inspiration will strike.

4. Place little notebooks and pens around the house. I keep small notebooks in most of the rooms in my house, and even one in the shed outside. Ideas come from everywhere, and I want to be sure to get them on paper immediately, before I lose my train of thought.

5. Keep an ideas folder. Once a week, I go through my notebooks and the scraps of paper I’ve written ideas on, type them out, and stash them away in a story ideas folder. When I can’t think of anything to write, I’ll open up that folder and see what piques my interest. Then I take it from there. The more ideas you have, the faster your folder will fill up and before long you’ll have so much to choose from.

Sometimes I can watch scenes playing out in my head and I’ll write those down too. A scene, some bits of dialogue, wild random thoughts, and I have some more story ideas for my folder. Sometimes they are one or two sentences, other times full pages.

Even if you get an idea while you’re working on something else, write it down for another time. You may never use a certain idea, but at least you’ll always have fuel for the fire of your imagination.

Keep those ideas coming!

Cynthia A. Jensen is a Tier II Rising Star Author at ChapterBuzz, and author of Starrbodies, a thriller novel-in-progress about a man who kidnaps a fitness guru to help his depressed sister lose weight.

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