Sunday, March 1, 2015

Building a Concept #1: Igniting Inspiration

As writers we are blessed with the ability to find inspiration or snippets of stories in everyday situations. It may be overhearing an awkward conversation or seeing something unique on a particular day. It might also come at inconvenient times such as when we're washing dishes or driving and can't write it down.

But what if our inspiration runs dry? We've all been in those desert spots, grasping for something to develop into our next masterpiece and holding only air. If you're dealing with something similar now, read on for ideas on how to ignite some ideas to further cultivate.

Take a Walk
It's been proven over and over that getting the blood flowing in your body leads to better creativity and heightened brain activity. It also gives you the opportunity to focus on something other then your day to day happenings. In addition, where ever you take the journey can lend sights, sounds, and smells to trigger flashes of brilliance.

Become a Spy
You read that right! Immerse yourself a hub of human activity such as a mall, bookstore, coffee shop, college campuses, or other busy areas. Then use the senses to purposely listen and watch human stories unfold all around you. Before going, consider something to focus on such as a weird conversation or different characters you could write about. Then listen and watch as your mind takes over and zones in on these types of diamonds in the rough.

Read, Read, Read
Almost all of us are constantly told to read a lot. What a lot of us don't realize is that the advice doesn't just mean fiction. Magazines, newspapers, blogs, and websites offer myriads of interesting tidbits that could easily be expanded on. Just this last week, Sharon tweeted dozens of weird stories  from @UberFacts that would have been awesome jump-off points for stories. If you do read fiction and discover a nugget of story gold, write those titles down so you can use them as comp titles later.

It is very common for artists to use inspiration from their own life for their work. The reason this often works so well is that you already have an attachment to the story and the emotions are already present. It doesn't have to be something you experienced either. It could be something you remember happening to a friend or to someone you went to school with. It could be something that you remember hearing about that happened in a local or surrounding area. Using your memories as kindling for a story often becomes a therapeutic venture. To dive into those memories, arrange to visit an old friend, attend a reunion, or look through diaries or photo books from your earlier life.

Do you have a favorite way to  switch your mind into brainstorming mode? Please share it in the comments below!

Come on back on April 2nd for some tips on what to do with all those awesome ideas once your inspiration is cranking!


E.G. Moore
E. G. Moore is a poet, freelance writer, and storyteller. She is a long distance member of For Pete’s Sake Writers Group in Washington and is a Rocky Mountain Chapter SCBWI member. She loves writing stories that send her young readers on adventures they can't experience in real life. She’s excited to be the new blog assistant for YAtopia. When she’s not telling “Mommy Made stories” to her two daughters or nagging her husband to edit her latest manuscript, she can be found off-roading in her suped-up ATV, swimming, or in a long, plot-refreshing bubble bath. She tweets @egmoorewriter, posts on, and blogs at

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