Writing Tip: Coming Up With Ideas

HELP! What do I write about when it’s time to do some writing? Where do people get ideas?

Lots of time writers don’t realize that great ideas are sitting right there, under their noses. You just need to give them an interesting little ‘twist’ to find the story hidden inside them. The best way to do this is to always keep the words WHAT IF handy.

For example, one day my three-year-old son came home from school with a funny looking drawing. I asked him what it was. He replied: “That’s a monster.” I asked him what kind of monster. “It’s a Momma Monster,” he answered. Suddenly I found myself thinking: What if a kid really had a monster – a REAL monster – for a mother??? What would that be like?

So I sat down and wrote a story called “Momma’s a Monster.”

You can do the same sort of thing.

TRY THIS:

1. Keep a journal of things that you notice. They can be ordinary, everyday sorts of things.
2. Then, when you have written down a few things you’ve noticed, try making up some WHAT IFs about them.

EXAMPLE

Here’s a sample journal entry: Today I noticed a spider spinning a web.

Now write:Three sentences starting with :What if…?”

Remind the students that the What If should be about something that doesn’t normally happen. For example,”What if a spider ate a fly?” is not a great What If. Why?

So, try your hand at it!

What if _______________________________________?

What if _______________________________________?

What if _______________________________________?

Don’t those sound like they might make good stories? Give it a try!

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