Julie's Quest

Hello, and welcome to my blog. My blog is about the trials and tribulations of writing, where we celebrate successes and commiserate our near misses. We tell it like it is here and will do our very best to help you on the road to being published and pick you up after the rejections (they will come!) Whether you are a professional or amateur writer you will find something useful here.

I hope you enjoy reading my posts and will visit again soon.

Happy Writing

Julie Phillips - freelance writer - member of the Association of Freelance Writers - member of the Society of Authors

Friday, 6 December 2013

Idea Generator

I don't know if you're like me, but I have absolutely no trouble finding ideas for my short stories. I have them coming out of my ears! At the time of writing this, on my white board in my writing room, I have 15 story ideas waiting to be written up and there will be more by the time the day is over. I might even have more than this, secreted about the house, on loose, old scraps of paper, in long forgotten note books, etc., Aren't these lovely treasures just waiting to be found?

Ideas are everywhere; they are in everything I hear, see, smell, taste or touch. Inspiration can strike at any and every moment. I can be at school washing paint brushes, or on a winter walk through the countryside, in bed about to drop off to sleep, in the bath with my Radox muscle soak, sitting at the kitchen table (as I am now), something I've heard on the radio, something I've seen on TV or read in a book or magazine, something I've seen on the internet (FaceBook you beauty!) Anything can be turned into a story if handled right. By that I mean that it must have characters the readers will engage with and sympathise with (care about). They must have some problem to overcome. Something must happen in the story and the resolution should come from the characters themselves - not be contrived, or solutions handed to them on a plate - not be merely a sequence of events.

And the resulting story may be as far removed from the initial prompt as can be! But once you have the idea, that first spark - you are halfway there to producing a quality story.

So, to get you in the mood - if you're feeling a little bereft of inspiration - here are a few prompts that might inspire you to write a short story or two:

1. A secret midnight meeting
2. The surprise birthday cake you're attempting to make has sunk in the middle.
3. There is a strange man (not strange as in serial killer strange, though he might be! But someone you don't recognise)  sitting up a tree in your garden
4. You find a note attached to your windscreen with a phone number and the words Call me - it would be great to see you again. But you don't recognise the number of the writing. Do you call? And who could it be?
5. Your washing machine has broken down and the repair man is the bloke you bailed on in the restaurant on a blind date last week.

Have fun with those!

And do let us know if you manage to write a story or two based on these prompts!

Julie xx


Carole Anne Carr said...

Excellent prompts. I'm scouring poetry books for themes at the moment, too x

Julie P said...

Thanks, Carole Anne - ideas are everywhere aren't they! Good luck with finding inspiration in the poetry books.
Julie xx