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11

One thing you can try (something I have just started trying), is the "fieldstone" method (cf. Weinberg on Writing). The analogy goes that when you are building a wall, as you walk in the field if you find a good stone, you put it in your pocket. Writing kind of works the same way: as you go about your day, you read things, you find something that interests ...


9

One technique that I've used has been a simple spreadsheet. I make a number of columns, one for every major thread of the novel, and I color each column differently to make them stand out. Then I write a one-sentence summary of each scene and put it in the appropriate column, in chronological order from top to bottom, so that it looks like this: X Y Z * ...


8

I think I've written this before (or upvoted someone who has written it), but so what: You need a basic idea. Oh, you have one, good. You need a main conflict. Otherwise you do not have a story. That means your hero wants something and someone is putting obstacles in his way. Like Remeo wants Juliet, but their families are against their relationship. Hero ...


7

Are you really looking for a collaborator, or just someone to illustrate your vision? That can affect how you search. Sometimes I hire illustrators and I have something very, very specific in mind that I simply want executed. Other times, I have a general guide and I want them to put their own spin on it and give me options, come up with ideas. Being clear ...


7

I know Writing Excuses has a writing prompt at end of each weekly show. Usually they are related to the topic of the show as well.


6

One way to start coming up with creative non-fiction stories that are from your own life is by finding lists of journaling questions. For example the author of the blog Live with Flair (who was interviewed not too long ago by NPR) is posting a journaling question at the bottom of her posts daily. These questions can help you think of an event in your own ...


6

I still do this analog...plot points go on index cards, different plot lines are in different colors, cards get laid out on the carpet until I'm happy with the arrangement.


5

I haven't read it myself, but I think this book, The 3 A.M. Epiphany by Brian Kitely, sounds like exactly what you're looking for. It's got very nice reviews - both in terms of score, and the actual description. Here's the first one that sounded like a great match for your question: The exercises also have an additional dimension to them that most don't. ...


5

In nearly all cases where you're writing a webcomic, you are going to want a true collaborator. Comics are a visual storytelling medium, as evidenced by the fact that you can have a comic that has pictures but no text, but you can't really have a comic that is text without pictures. This person is going to be helping you to tell your story and should ideally ...


5

There are some good answers here. I'm finding the Snowflake method useful as well.


5

My favorite tool is Scrivener. It's full-featured writing software that organizes a larger manuscript as a set of documents, each representing a chunk of text. Scrivener is great for plotting. You can view your chunks as index cards on a corkboard. Each index card shows the title and summary of a document. I tend to chunk my manuscripts into scenes. I ...


5

For book resources, there are many out there. Here's a small sampling: On Becoming a Novelist by John Gardener (and he wrote several other books on writing like The Art of Fiction) Aspects of the Novel by E. M. Forester Bird By Bird by Anne Lamott On Writing by Stephen King There are a couple of questions on this site that may help: This question has ...


4

I love The Writer's Book of Matches for fiction writing prompts.


4

Not a writing prompt in a traditional sense, but this has worked for me: improv comedy classes. Every time you perform a scene, you're creating a completely new story on the fly. It's a great way to generate ideas. The story grows organically, and you'll get unexpected (i.e. creative) results. It's a fun way to get new ideas for writing.


4

This article describes an interesting system for coming up with infinite writing prompts through Wikipedia.


3

Type Trigger is rather fun - you get a very short prompt (one to three words) and then write up to three hundred words on that prompt. There's a new prompt every hour. It's an energetic little writing exercise.


3

I have a query day with no set goals in terms of numbers, other than to send at least one. My day is usually Monday, because that's the most work I can get out myself that day. If you're asking how frequently you should be sending out queries, the answer is enough to get you enough work. If you're writing for a living, then -- a lot of queries, especially ...


2

I have found Google Reader to be a useful source for non-fiction story ideas. I've created an account which is subscribed to a large number of feeds - news feeds, interesting blogs, cutting edge research feeds, and local information/events info. When I lack for inspiration, I'll go through the feeds, and through their recommendation engine, and have a long ...


1

Looking back at my own writing, my recommendation is: You'll have to find out yourself. There are two main directions writing can take, often called "outline" and "no outline". The no outline approach means that you sit down with the seed of an idea (a scene, a character, a first sentence) and just start writing, letting yourself be surprised by where the ...


1

This, I think, is a writing prompt tool unlike any other. Whereas most prompts just start you off, this one can assist you with the continuation of your story. It provides multiple ways to get a prompt depending on your mood or goal. Whether you want a complete scenario, a starting scene, a goal, or a character, you just click a button. I recommend ...


1

This is a common problem. I myself conquered this only last year. There is no one reason and no two writers suffer from the same set of reasons in the same proportion. But here are some things to try out: Freewriting exercises - Whenever you feel like it, open up your note book or your word processor and just start writing. Start with any old nonsensical ...


1

I think the problem is that writing is work. The stuff you call 'prep work' is essentially daydreaming. All the usual suggestions will apply here, I think. Set a daily or weekly goal for yourself - an hour a day of writing, or five thousand words a week, or whatever seems challenging but achievable. If you have nothing to say, you can sit there and write ...


1

http://www.seventhsanctum.com/generate.php?Genname=writechallenge Updated every time you click


1

Writing Prompt Websites This is basically a link to an existing list elsewhere. That's because I think the most important aspects of writing prompts are: A variety of compelling topics A sense of community for peer support The definition of each of these will differ for anyone asking this question, so the best answer is a list with diverse topics and ...


1

The most important aspect for creativity is, as others have suggested here, the "raw material" that is critical to coming up with new ideas. Creativity and innovation are not a process of coming up with something completely new out of a vacuum - they occur when our brains combine two ideas together to form a third (our brains our exclusively binary ...



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