Ideas for Writing

From Fatima:
During the summer, I am going to write entries for some contests. But I have a really hard time thinking about what to write about. What should I do to get ideas of what to write about?

Great topic, Fatima. Hopefully, you will check here and scroll backwards. I’ve put some writing prompts, or story starters to help you begin. Here are some more:

1. Use a first line from any book you can find. Continue writing a NEW story.

2. You are an object. What happens to you? How do you feel?

3. Write a story using one of these first lines:
It’s not my fault that . . . .
If I had been born 100 years ago . . .

She sat by the door listening for . . .

4. Write an alphabet paragraph. Example: Aaron bought Carol diamonds.
Each . . .

5. Write a scene in five sentences. The last word in one sentence is the first word in the next.

6. Choose a picture from a magazine, newspaper, or art book. Use it as inspiration for a story or essay. (You can do this one over and over again and it’s very helpful to adult authors too. We use “people pictures” as sources for characters in our books.)

7. List as many different and exciting verbs as you can. Then make a list of strong nouns. Combine them to start a story.

8. Choose a wordless picture book that has been published. Create the text that could accompany the pictures.

9. Start a story. After you write a few paragraphs, trade stories with another person. Write the middle and the ending of the other person’s story. (You can do this online too. I once did this with a friend and each day we’d write another paragraph to the story, and then e-mail it to the other person. We had a ball!)

10. Create a unique character. What is her/his passion? List words that relate to that passion. (If the character likes to cook, list words like barbecue, bake, condiment, dash, fry, grease, grill, mash, pulp, sizzle, toast . . .) Come up with as many as you can. Sprinkle some of them throughout your story for “flavor” and humor. Also list metaphors. (as soft as . . .) Can you use any of your theme words to create a simile or metaphor to use in your story? (As soft as bread dough . . .)

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