Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Ideas to Write About

Question: How can I find ideas to write about?

Answer: The following ideas are by Barbara A. Tyler in The Writer (January 2007), pp. 32-33. Tyler alphabetizes 26 sources of ideas, an "Idea Generator."

Anniversaries: Pick an unusual holiday and brainstorm related stories.
Breakthroughs: Medical, technical and scientific breakthroughs make great stories.
Cultural explorations: What are the festivals, holidays, etc., of different cultures?
Dust off the old: Update or expand old ideas.
Experts: Know somebody who is an expert in a field? Interview them.
Fads: Look for new trends. Research old fads.
Government: Explore government publications.
How To....: How do you do what others find difficult?
Idea book: Jot down ideas wherever you go in a notebook you always have with you.
Junk mail: Don't junk it until you have gone through it for possible ideas.
Keep file: Keep newspaper clippings.
Learn something new: Take a seminar on something entirely new to you.
Market: Go to the library and read a year's issues of a magazine you would like to write for.
Numbers: Make lists of 10, 12, 15, 20 dealing with a topic.
Opinion: What burns you up? What makes you want to cheer?
Phone friends: Brainstorm with them for ideas on topics.
Quotations: You'll find them all over the Internet.
Read something new.
Subscribe: To publications new this week at www.lii.org for new publications on unusual topics.
Tour your town: What's new? What's old? Who can tell you about it?
University: Check university Web pages.
Visit: The nonfiction section of your library where you will find books on topics you never imagined. Check "Nonfiction" on the Internet.
Write: Outside your comfort zone. Try some different form of writing that you have not tried before.
X = 10: Write 10 topics. Then under each topic, write 10 subtopics.
Yellow pages: Find unusual occupations and trades.
Zone out: Try not thinking about topics at all. You'll be surprised how your relaxed frame of mind suggests topics to write about.

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