Saturday, March 30, 2019

Six Ways To Brainstorm Story Ideas – Quick #Writing tips for the #Writerslife

Jumpstart your writing!

I hope this series of quick writing tips inspires you to move your story forward.

Maybe you want to write, but you’re not sure what you want to write. Or perhaps you have so many ideas you don’t know where to start. Here are some options for brainstorming ideas. (This is excerpted from You Can Write for Children: How to Write Great Stories, Articles, and Books for Kids and Teenagers, so it addresses writing stories for children. If you write for adults, simply do the exercises ignoring the "children" part.)

Inspiration for Writing 

  • What hobbies or interests do you have that might interest children?
  • What jobs or experiences have you had that could be a good starting point for an article or story?
  • Do you know about other cultures, or a particular time period?
  • What genres do you like? Would it be fun to write in that genre?
  • What genres did you like as a child? Did you love mysteries, ghost stories, fantasies, or science fiction? What were your favorite books? Why?
  • Even the phonebook can provide inspiration. Check the Yellow Pages: Could you interview an automotive painter, animal trainer, or architect for an article? What would life be like for a child to have parents in that field? How about a teenager who dreams of entering the profession?

Take some time to relax and think about each question. Take lots of notes, even if you’re not sure yet whether you want to pursue an idea. You can put each idea on a separate index card, or fill a notebook, or start a file folder with scraps of paper. Do whatever works for you.

Write with Emotion

Wherever you look for ideas, search for things that are scary, exciting or funny – strong emotion makes a strong story.

Don’t preach. Kids don’t want to read about children learning lessons. All stories have themes, but when someone asks you about a mystery you read, you’re probably not going to say, “It was a story about how crime doesn’t pay.” Rather, you’ll talk about the exciting plot, the fascinating characters, perhaps even the unusual setting. A story’s message should be subtle.

Chris Eboch is the author of over 60 books for children, including nonfiction and fiction, early reader through teen. Her writing craft books include You Can Write for Children: How to Write Great Stories, Articles, and Books for Kids and Teenagers, and Advanced Plotting.

Her novels for ages nine and up include The Eyes of Pharaoh, a mystery in ancient Egypt; The Well of Sacrifice, a Mayan adventure; The Genie’s Gift, a middle eastern fantasy; and the Haunted series, about kids who travel with a ghost hunter TV show, which starts with The Ghost on the Stairs. Learn more at or her Amazon page.