Every writer needs to find inspiration in order to produce inspired writing - whether it is in the form of a novel, short story, poetry, song or even a simple blog post or journal entry. You don’t have to live an extraordinary life to find sources of inspiration for creative writing. They are all around you. Below are some of the most common sources of inspiration that can be used to produce a masterpiece.
For an author, inspiration is not just a desirable thing; it’s an integral part of the creative writing process. No matter how much you are passionate about writing, there will always be days when you need inspiration from one muse or another, and sometimes, it can come from the unlikeliest sources. Every writer needs to find inspiration in order to produce inspired writing - whether it is in the form of a novel, short story, poetry, song or even a simple blog post or journal entry. Below are some of the most common sources of inspiration that can be used to produce a masterpiece.
You cannot be a good at creative writing if you’re not a voracious reader. Read something new, an old favorite or a piece from an author you haven’t heard of. Read something that sparks your emotions - something that inspires you and makes you laugh or cry. There’s nothing wrong with finding inspiration in the work of others. Reading what other people have written may be enough to spark a few ideas you wouldn’t have otherwise had. Just from looking at the way an author writes, you can come up with twists on their work and gradually transition into an entirely new creation.
Nature and the Outdoors
Creative writing can also be inspired by leaving your current surroundings and trekking the outdoors. Take a walk in the park or go camping. Ride your bike or play with your kids in your backyard. Appreciate the rolling landscapes and sceneries you are surrounded with. Watch the insects crawling along plants and listen to the birds. Take a look at the simple things in life that adds to your creative processes. The sights, sounds, and smells of nature are all very powerful sources of inspiration. Try to see ordinary things from a new perspective, and you just might find inspiration for a new story.
If you engage in the same activities every day, your creativity will come to a dead end. But trying something new will give you a different experience that may feed your inspiration. Spend some time creating something in with a medium other than words. It doesn’t have to be an extreme sport or death-defying trick – even simple things like painting, cooking or gardening can help you come up with new ideas for creative writing. You’d be surprised how one creative activity often leads to another.
Dreams are a fantastic and frequently untapped resource for inspiring creative writing. Just like the outdoors, to get inspiration out of your dreams, you need to engage with them. Dreams are considered a narrative composed of a cluster of unconnected thoughts, themes and impulses that concern and preoccupy you. Thus, they have the potential to fuel inspiring insights that belong to you and you alone. The only challenge with gathering inspiration from dreams is the inability to remember them soon after awakening from sleep. So it’s a good idea to keep a journal next to your bed. This way you can capture the events right after you wake you, while they are still fresh in your mind.
You don’t have to live an extraordinary life to find sources of inspiration for creative writing. They are all around you. Like any resource worth having, the inspiration you need won’t arrive on its own. Keep your eyes and ear open – always searching for inspirational sources. You’ll be surprised at how profound it can affect your ability to create a masterpiece.
(c) Tanisha Williams is the author of two non-profit e-books “501c3 In 12-Steps” and “Simple Internal Controls That Protect Your Assets”. Her desire for more interaction with readers was the key inspiration behind the development of her latest business venture ChatEbooks. ChatEbooks, launched in October 2014, harnesses the strengths of social media in order to help authors and their readers engage and connect within the context of the selling/reading experience.
Knowing how to write, and write well, is a skill that will come in handy in all sorts of situations. And if you combine good writing skills with the persuasive selling tactics found in, say, copywriting, you'll be that much more ahead of your competition.
Of all the different types of writing I've done in my life (and believe me, I've tried practically all of them), writing radio has made one of the bigger impacts on my writing style.
Below are three ways writing radio can help strengthen your writing style. (Oh, and these tips will also help you write better radio copy too.)
1. Follow the rules. Sometimes rules are good, especially rules that force you to write a certain way. (Think poetry -- mastering those rules can have an amazing effect on your writing style.) Rules require you to slow down and think, to analyze your word, sentence, grammar, punctuation, etc., choices. And that can be very beneficial to your development as a writer.
Radio is short. You have to write something that fits into a 30- or 60-second slot. Not a lot of time or a lot of words. In that 30 or 60 seconds, you need to capture the listener's attention, explain why they should be interested in buying what you're selling, then let them know what you'd like their next step to be. Oh, and did I mention you need to have the business name in there at least twice and probably a tag line as well? And don't forget about music. Or sound effects.
Now the beauty of this is once you've mastered radio rules, you can apply it to all sorts of things. A 30-second pitch for your business you can tell people at networking events. A 15-second introduction before a speech. A quick product spiel for your voice mail. A 15-second pitch for your novel to spit out at agents and editors at writers' conferences. The possibilities are endless.
2. Forces you to write tight. Remember, radio is short. Yet, there's still a lot you have to shove into it. So what's the solution? Absolutely no extra words allowed.
Be brutal. Cut out anything you don't need. In fact, radio is where I first learned to start cutting "that" out. Most "thats" you don't need, and nothing shows you this like radio.
Here's how I write radio. I start with a first draft. I read it over. I think it's pretty good -- I have all the salient points in there. I read it out loud.
Now the fun begins.
Usually it's too long. You see, I time myself reading. So I have to start chopping words.
When you have to make a script fit into a certain time frame, it's amazing how many words you suddenly discover can be deleted. Or replaced with simpler, shorter words. Or how many sentences can be trimmed. Or phrases made more concise.
As you can imagine, writing radio has really honed my editing skills.
3. Writing for the ear. Writing for the ear is different than writing for the eye. The eye is far more forgiving. Oh that sentence is a bit too long, but it's okay. Hmm, yes I do see that awkward phrase, but I'm fine with it.
Not the ear. The ear is brutal. It's like one of those headmasters from a Dickens' novel, standing in front of the classroom with a stick and banging it every time a student stutters on an answer.
The ear catches everything -- sentences that are too long and don't allow you to take a breath; sentences that don't flow properly; long, complicated five-dollar words that twist the tongue in a knot and much, much more.
Focus on writing shorter sentences. Simpler sentences. Vary your sentences. Use simple words.
And that's just plain good old writing advice no matter what you happen to be writing.
Creativity Exercises -- Write a Radio Ad
Now it's your turn. Time to sit down and write a radio ad.
First, choose something you want the ad to be about. Maybe one of your products or services. But choose only one. More than one and you're just asking for trouble. (Rule of thumb -- one message per ad. No more. Otherwise you run the risk of losing your target market. Pick one message and make it very simple and very clear.)
Now do what I do. Write the ad. Start by keeping it under a general word count -- 100 words for a 30-second ad and 190 words for a 60-second spot.
Finished your first draft? Great. Now read it. And time yourself. (Those clocks on the computer desktop are great for this.)
What, you went over your limit? Better start cutting. See how many words you can take out and sentences you can tighten. Or replace words and phrases with something shorter.
Now read it again. Still too long? Or maybe now it's too awkward. See previous paragraph. Keep repeating until you end up with something that sounds smooth and fits in the allotted time.
(c) Michele PW (Michele Pariza Wacek) is your Ka-Ching! marketing strategist and owns Creative Concepts and Copywriting LLC, a copywriting and marketing agency. She helps entrepreneurs become more successful at attracting more clients, selling more products and services and boosting their business. To find out how she can help you take your business to the next level, visit her site at http://www.MichelePW.com .
Copyright 2008 Michele Pariza Wacek
How do you come up with new creative writing ideas? You can start by using a few basic techniques. Here are three simple ones.
Are you waiting and hoping for creative writing ideas? Why not use some simple techniques to produce as many ideas as you will need? Here are a few to get you started.
Combine Stories For Creative Writing Ideas
There is a technique called "concept combination" which is to create new products to sell. Use it to create new stories, and it is usually good for a few laughs and a few ideas as well. All you have to do is imaginatively combine old stories into new ones. For the most creative ideas, use stories which are unrelated in their theme.
Suppose you start with the biblical story of Adam and Eve, and combine it with the movie, "Star Wars." Perhaps in the new story a man and a woman are placed alone on a new planet, as an experiment to see what will happen over the centuries. Would they or their future offspring develop our same ideas about God and morality?
Get crazy if you want. "King Kong," and "Romeo and Juliette" could become a story about when apes learn to speak, and the first human-ape romantic relationship develops. The couple is of course rejected by ape and human society. How about "Frankenstein" and "Gone With The Wind?" Start dreaming up those new creative writing ideas.
More Ways To Have Creative Writing Ideas
Make a list of what is most important to you. Take anything from that list, and find a story in it. For example, if honesty is important to you, create a story populated with characters that are defined by how honest or dishonest they are, and show the consequences of this trait. If there is some political principle that is important to you, imagine new stories which show what happens when this principle is followed - or when it isn't.
Make a list of the stories most like. Start with any story you really like, and think about how you would have told it, or how it could be told. The start writing to see if the idea "grabs" you. Romeo and Juliet has been successfully retold a hundred ways in books and movies, under many titles. Why not find a formula you like, which has been proven to work, and write your own updated version?
Watch the evening news and make a list of the stories. This source is mined by television shows all the time. Try to add a twist that will get the story read. For example, take a real life issue that is in the news and approach it from a different perspective. Perhaps it could be a story of a businessman who profiteers after a hurricane, but you find a way find a way to make him the good guy.
One of the best ways to get ideas is to write anything right now. The English writer Graham Green attributes his success to a simple habit: He forced himself to write at least 500 words daily, whether he felt like it or not. Creative inspiration can strike at any time, but it strikes more often when there is work instead of waiting. Just start writing and you'll have more creative writing ideas.
(c) Steve Gillman has been studying brainpower and related topics for many years.
The thought of writing a book is usually daunting for many writers. After all, how and where do you begin writing a book that's anywhere from 25,000 to 100,000 words?
Big numbers can be pretty intimidating. But there's a way to get around this. And it's by taking baby steps -- writing one chapter or even 300-500 words at a time.
This is how I wrote my book, WEEKLY WRITES: 52 Weeks of Writing Bliss!** Every week for one whole year, I wrote one chapter or module. Each module was only 250 to 500 words. It helped too that as I wrote each module, writers were "testing" it. They did the activities in the module I sent out to them every week.
When I started, I began with an outline for Weekly Writes. This was just so I could see what I was supposed to do every week. An outline doesn't have to be set in stone. Think of an outline as a frame, a guide. It can be modified as you go along. So by the time I'd written chapter/module 52, I realized I had a book ready to show to a publisher or one that I could self-publish and sell the next day.
I didn't intend for Weekly Writes to be a book. I created it as an e-mail course. But when week 52 came around, I knew Weekly Writes could be a book too. I sent a proposal to a publisher and a week later received a note that she wished to review the manuscript. A couple of weeks later, I was offered a contract and given a deadline for submitting the final draft.
It took about 6 weeks to edit and rewrite some chapters. And to make the book even more useful to readers, I invited writers who had taken the e-mail course version to contribute creative pieces they've written as a direct result of doing the writing activities in the course modules.
The result? A *writer-tested* book.
On top of that, I had fun writing it because when I wrote a chapter, I simply wrote. I stuck to writing 250-500 words once a week. One baby step at a time. It was certainly easier to write when I worked with smaller goals (word quota every week).
Perhaps you can try it too. You may have a book 52 weeks from now, even sooner!
(c) 2004 Shery Ma Belle Arrieta-Russ
Shery is the creator of WriteSparks! - a software that generates over 10 *million* Story Sparkers for Writers. Download WriteSparks! Lite for free