Idea Generation

Sometimes ideas pop in from nowhere. Other times you have to go hunting for them. The ones that pop in from nowhere are easy to find. The ones you have to hunt for are another story.

There are ways to find ideas whether for stories or blogs. That’s easy enough. I use online writing prompts and Facebook to get some of my ideas. Mostly though, I sit in a chair and write down words. That’s right, just write down what comes to mind and see what I have. I use my journal for the purpose. Sometimes I see something in a book that I’m reading that screams “Blog topic!” Mostly though,  have to brainstorm ideas.

Brainstorming session can last ten minutes or ten hours depending on how much time you have available for the purpose. I generally set a timer for fifteen or twenty minutes and write down words, phrases, whatever I think of in that time. I don’t judge them until after the timer goes off. Then I look at the words and phrases I’ve put down and decide if I can get a blog or story from them.
Most of them don’t spark a blog. Once in a while, I will get a topic from  that method.

Another way to generate ideas is to sit down with mind mapping software, such as Scapple or some of the ones you can get on your phone, or even just pen and paper. Set a timer for fifteen or twenty minutes, or however long you want. Write down a word or phrase, circle it. Then see what you can think of that is related to the word. Connect them with lines. See what comes of it. Can you think of more items to attach to the word? What about connecting words together? Continue the process for each new layer or round until your timer goes off.

ideas mind map

From the image you can see the process. That image is the result of doing a session based on the word Moon. Look at what you’ve drawn and try to find patterns you can work with. In this example, the name Diana might be a good topic to write on, there are directions you can take. Fables would be another good topic. You can go in several other directions from that word. The original word or phrase you started with may not even turn out to be the topic you end up with.

That’s just a few methods of generating ideas. The web is full of them. Just do a search on the term writing ideas or story ideas, something will come up. I like the mind map although it can be time consuming. It’s value comes from the patterns it generates. You might prefer one of the other ways to generate ideas. Good luck and good writing.


I am not one who is comfortable talking about myself but here goes. I enjoy writing, family history, and reading. I decided to do this blog because I wanted to try something new. I decided to make it a weekly blog because I wasn't sure that I could keep up with a daily one, and monthly seemed like I was writing a magazine. I think I did ok with my choices. You'll notice that there are not a lot of graphics on my site. That's because there are graphics plastered everywhere on the Internet and those sites sometimes take forever to load. This blog is a place where you can kick back, relax and be ready to be amused. At least I hope I willbamuse you. This blog is on a variety of subjects from my ficitional cat agency, the FFL, which is monthly, to instructional blogs to editorials, which are my opinions only. I admit that I don't know everything and could be wrong -- I frequently am. Now, stop reading about me and read what I have to say!

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Posted in Writing Techniques

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© Lisa Hendrickson and Pebblepup's Writing Den, 2010-2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Lisa Hendrickson and Pebblepup's Writing Den with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
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