Creative Writing Ideas:
Where They Come From and How To Get Them On Paper

Creative writing ideas come from everywhere.

"I have nothing to write about." How many times have you heard that come out of your mouth? I've said it myself, many times. That is simply not true. If anything has made you stop and say, "Oh, that's kind of cool," you have something to write about. If you've ever watched the world around you and wondered why people do the things they do, or events happened the way they did, then you have something to write about. If you've ever had a birthday party, been to a school dance, had your first crush, or even just gotten up this morning, you have something to write about.

The best way for a writer to get creative writing ideas is to say "What if…" Let's try it. What if someone found an old map in his attic that led to a treasure? Of course, he would have to go find the treasure, right? Well, if he didn't, it wouldn't be much fun. So, he packs up his suitcase, tells his friends and family good-bye, and heads out to find this treasure. What if he has to travel through some dangerous territory, like, an enchanted forest, or a mountain filled with trolls? What if he keeps getting sidetracked on his quest? Maybe he meets people who need his help.

Starting to get the idea? Apply this to anything, from your imagination, to your everyday life. What if you woke up one morning and your parents were different people? What if you got an A on that math test you've been sweating over? Try it. Look around you and ask "What if…"

Okay, so you might have a few creative writing ideas floating around. "What next?" you ask. Now the fun starts. Now you write. Sounds easy enough. This is the time where you want to get as many of your creative writing ideas on paper as you can. Let yourself go, and have fun with it. Writing should feel like you're slipping into a special place, a place you've created. In your real life, you cannot eat candy for dinner, you have a bedtime, you have homework, and yes, you might have to make your bed, even if you are just going to mess it up when you sleep in it again. Life is full of things that don't seem all that fun (even for adults). In creative writing, you are the boss. If your main character wants to have cake for dinner, then let her eat cake.

Here is a quick list of a few creative writing prompts just to get your imagination going. These could be used to help develop your characters, or start a completely new story, or used in any darn way you like. You don't have to do all of these; you don't have to do any of these, but the more you practice at writing the better you get. Pick one that appeals to you and see where it takes you.

  • Someone finds a jewel-encrusted box.
  • Your main character wakes up to find himself in a completely different place from where he fell asleep.
  • Your character is afraid of something. What is it? How does he confront it?
  • Your character is being chased and steps in a mysterious puddle of goop, or makes a wrong turn and ends up in a dead end, or is rescued by someone she does not like.
  • Your character is fishing and catches something interesting.
  • Your character sees a shimmering light through the trees.
  • The sky changes color.
  • A secret room is found.
  • A path branches off in three different directions and your character has no idea where to go.
  • A laughing spell goes terribly wrong.

Now that we've covered some ways to get creative writing ideas, it's time we get into the nitty-gritty of writing. I'm going to explain a few of the basic concepts of creative writing and give you some examples of how each one works.

Now, enough chitchat. Let's get down to the fun stuff… Writing!

Next: Writing Your Rough Draft

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