Five Ideas to Spark Your Creativity & Get You Writing Again

Five Ideas to Spark Your Creativity & Get You Writing Again

Sometimes you stare at the blank page and nothing comes. You need a kick-start. These writing prompts will help you say goodbye to writer’s block, hello writing.

1. Put Your Character in an Unfamiliar Situation

If you have a character you are trying to get to know better, try relocating them. Write a scene in which the character encounters your mother-in-law, or gets lost in a shopping mall. What would this character do if she found a lost wallet? If he was stranded at the side of the highway? By taking your character out of their comfort zone, you will discover more about them, which will help you when you return to writing your story.

2. Change Your Writing Routine

If you always write in the quiet of your bedroom, go out to a busy coffeeshop where the noise and action might stimulate some new ideas. Try writing in a laudromat, on a church pew in the late afternoon, at an art gallery, on the bus. If you write alone, try writing with a group. Write with a beer in one hand, or a milkshake. If you’re a morning writer, try writing at dusk. Write on coloured paper, lined or unlined, big or small. Whatever you usually do, do something different. These changes to your writing routine are sure to affect your writing.

3. Start With a Line of Poetry

Flip through a poetry book at random until you see a line that jumps out at you. Using this as your first sentence, write for fifteen minutes and see what transpires. Sometimes starting from an unfamiliar mindset can unleash your creativity. If you don’t like poetry, use the opening line of a short story or a novel.

4. Mimic Your Favourite Writers

All great writers learn from other great writers. We practice the art of imitation, learning by copying the tricks of sentence length and rhythm, dialogue patterns and pacing. Don’t think of it as stealing: think of it as learning. Read something by one of your favourite authors and then try to rewrite it, as close to the original as you can. Pay particular attention to word choice, tone and point of view. What is that writer doing that works so well? What can you learn by imitating them?

5. Begin At The End

Sometimes, timed writing will help get the creative mind working. This exercise involves a set of three timed writing periods. Set a timer for ten minutes, and start writing with the line, “In the end…” Write for ten minutes without pausing or stopping to edit your work. Don’t worry about whether it makes sense, or where it will go. Just write. Stop when the timer sounds.

Next, set your timer again and turn to a fresh page. Start with the line, “In the beginning…” Don’t try to make it connect with the first section you wrote and don’t worry about tenses or whether the characters even match. You are just trying to generate material. Finally, start a new page with “And after that…” and write for ten minutes. Put all three sections together. You may or may not have a complete story, but at least you’ll have something to work from.

Whatever you do, keep writing. If what you’re doing isn’t working, try something different. Try to have a little fun and you’ll be back on the road to literary stardom in no time.

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