LISTEN CAREFULLY: Eavesdrop – at a restaurant or on a bus, & record bits of overheard conversation. Sometimes the dialogue will jump-start all kinds of ideas.
READ THE OBITUARIES: Do you wonder about the part of a person’s life that isn’t reported in the death notices? Use your imagination to fill in the gaps.
PUT YOURSELF IN ANOTHER PERSON’S PLACE: Pick a character, maybe from the Bible, and read his or her story carefully. Write a story as though you were that character.
TELL THE STORY BEHIND A PHOTOGRAPH: Find a picture that intrigues you or stirs a memory – maybe an early photo of your mother. You will be surprised at what memories are invoked.
LISTEN TO STORIES FROM FRIENDS OR RELATIVES OR EVEN STRANGERS: I once sat on a park bench with a notebook when an old lady came & sat next to me. She started telling me her life story, and it was one of the most fascinating stories I had ever heard.
START WITH A SETTING: Describe a setting in such detail that it can’t be mistaken for any other spot in the world, & then let people loose in it. This is a great story starter.
USE A MAP: Pick out towns with odd names, and think about what it would be like to live there. I read recently a story by F. Scott Fitzgerald set in the town of Hades called “A Diamond as Big as the Ritz”. Hades & people’s reaction to the name was a big part of the plot.
THINK OF A COLOR : For example, “red” might evoke russet apples, fragrant roses, scraped knees, a flag … ideas are endless.
The next time your are all out of inspiration, maybe one of the above suggestions can get you started.
Happy writing. I am always glad to hear your comments, and help you with any writing difficulties. My latest novel (no. 14) “Searching for Sarah” is now available direct from me at discount: contact email@example.com ; also “In A Good Pasture” and some copies of “Esther” ; a Jerusalem Love Story; and “The Pomegranate Pendant” – now a movie titled “The Golden Pomegranate”.