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Wednesday Writing Prompt: The Idea Hunt

SONY DSCI keep a journal filled with ideas for my blog and novel writing. Usually I jot down ideas as they hit me throughout the week—sometimes in the journal, often on the notes app on my mobile phone. Once in awhile, I think it would be fun to go on an idea hunt. You know—set aside fifteen minutes or an hour to hunt for interesting ideas.

Where to hunt? Last week, I was listening to Here and Now on NPR when I heard a crazy story called, “The Great Maple Syrup Heist.”  It seems that someone stole about 18 million dollars worth of maple syrup. I immediately thought: what a great idea for a mystery novel. Here are some other places I hunt:

*Online news sources

*The hair salon, the gym, the coffee shop or anywhere else you can listen in on conversations.

*Talks given by docents at museums or zoos. If you can’t get out, try finding something similar on You Tube.

*Magazines. I especially like magazines on topics I know nothing about, like astronomy or plants.

*The Library. Head toward unfamiliar sections and pay attention to the titles that stir your curiosity.

*Children and Teens. Spend some time talking to kids about their life, and you’ll find a gazillion new ideas to work into your stories.

Your task: take fifteen minutes today and hunt for ideas.

Your turn: Where do you hunt for ideas? Leave your comments below.


4 Responses

  1. Jorge Serbia

    Great question, thanks for sharing your methods.
    I guess like most writers I get ideas from everyday interactions and experiences that will call out to that problem solver in me. But that’ll usually leave my head spinning–too many possibilities.
    So my favorite method is reading the Bible, ancient philosophers, and all writings that inspire self-awareness and that expose my own weaknesses. There has to be a challenge to mature…change. I try to remind myself that people want to see themselves in the story. But that they want see themselves overcome their own issues and succeed in life and relationships.
    That’s where my most intriguing ideas come to life.

    1. writenowcoach

      That’s a great idea Jorge. I’ve read these texts to help me with my life, but rarely to inspire fiction. I’m going to try this. Thanks!

  2. Great idea – the 15 minute idea hunt! I run a kids writing group and that will work wonders with story start-ups. This year I worked on a group story with them, having them contribute one of the magazine photos I had them clip out for story ideas. Next, I had them contribute one of the cool characters they created (out of 8). I’m still writing the pink poodle into our story but we’re almost there.

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