Creative Writing Ideas

Creative writing ideas are all around, in the newspaper, in snippets of conversation overheard, in anything outrageous. Inspiration is easy to find once the writer knows where to look. It's how the idea gets turned into a full-fledged story that is more difficult to predict! I hope the suggestions below will help anyone struggling to find a story.

Creative Writing Ideas 1-10

  1. Read the newspaper for human interest stories, such as the twins I once read about who were celebrating their birthdays with their girlfriends, until a car accident tragically killed one twin and his brother's girlfriend. For days I asked myself how the remaining two would cope. Would the tragedy bring the survivors closer together in their grief, or tear them apart?

  2. Consider children's fables. What important message do they impart and how could you use that in a modern story?

  3.  Check the Internet for odd stories.If you read that someone glued her foot to the front bumper of a police car and lay on the street in front of it, ask yourself why anyone might want to do that, then write a story about it.

  4. Ask yourself "What if?" What if you learn that the good looking man you met in the park and invited to dinner is actually a pedophile on the community watch list?

  5. Who do you know who most irks you? Why does this person irritate you? What would have to happen to change the person, and what if it did? Write about that.

  6. What is your favourite story or novel? What could you change in it to make the idea uniquely your own? When you know the answer, rewrite the story from your perspective. 

  7. What is the worst possible event that could happen to you, and how would it change your life? Who else would be affected by the change. Begin a story with the event, and imagine the changes.

  8. Think Laterally.Think of any important event, a wedding, an election. Each of these was handled more or less according to expectation. But what if they were not? What if instead of the bride walking in on her father's arm, the entire wedding party entered on roller skates? How could this become a story? What if the groom bumped into his new mother-in-law, which set in turn a series of events that led to the hospitalization of the bride's grandmother, and her eventual death? How would this change the dynamics of the family?

  9. Be inventive. If you could invent any item in the world, what would it be? Can you write about the character who does create your invention? How does the invention change an individual, a family, or a nation?

  10. Exaggerate any current idea. The selling of vitamins and supplements is big business in North America right now. What if a brain supplement had dramatic results? How would the individual change, and what problems would he or she encounter?

    Creative Writing Ideas 11-20

  11. Read. If you could do nothing but read and research, in which topic would you choose to immerse yourself? Choose a topic and get going! When you fill your head with enough ideas, a story will come to you.

  12. Confessions Imagine a character with a secret that needs telling. Who will the character tell, and what will that character do with the information that turns the protagonist's life upside down?

  13. Make use of photographs. What photographs don't get taken, but should, and what stories do they suggest. Visit the site UNphotographable for plenty of ideas.

  14. Turn on the TV What is Oprah talking about this week? What about The Fifth Estate or 60 Minutes? Programming like this can provide a multitude of ideas. TV dramas can be just as useful.

  15. Pick a stranger. One of the reasons I became a writer was because I constantly imagined lives for people around me in restaurants or other public places. Restaurants and buses are good for "people watching" because it is often possible to hear snatches of interesting conversation that can trigger ideas.

  16. Make a list. List stories can provide an easy way to get writing, Write about the visit of a recent family member, itemizing the preparation, anticipation, complications, and resolution of the visit.

  17. Get creative writing ideas from the The Darwin Awards, an Internet site that honours "those who improve the species by accidentally removing themselves from it."

  18. The law library has thousands of interesting cases bound into books waiting to be researched.

  19. Local historical archives. Spend a day in the local archives. The archivist knows the contents better than anyone, so ask him or to suggest interesting people you might research. As you look at their materials, story ideas will occur to you.

  20. The magazine challenge. Leaf through magazines in waiting rooms or bookstores and challenge yourself to come up with at least three good ideas from each periodical. Don't forget the classified ads, as they can often spark ideas. My partner once saw an ad selling a hospital bed and a motorized scooter. This caused him to write a story about the widower who placed the ad but kept turning people away because he wasn't ready to part with any of his wife's things.

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