Posted On April 21, 2017 by Print This Post

7 Tactics for Creative Writers to Generate New Story Ideas by Gloria Kopp

Story ideas to me come in the middle of a drive to work or when I’m asleep. Gloria Kopp gives us a few ideas on how to generate some new ideas, rather than trying to remember your story idea til morning. =)

Story ideas can be generated in an endless number of ways, inspired by even the most seemingly insignificant thing. There’s no absolutely definitive ‘to do’ list for being able to create story ideas, and each writer will have their own triggers to spark their creativity. But, there are a few tactics that can work to help get those ideas flowing.

  1. Take a look around you

Inspiration for new story ideas is everywhere, walking past you on the street, sitting beside you on the bus, behind you in line at the bank. The people you encounter, even just for a brief moment, can be the source of great inspiration for story ideas. Mainly because you know absolutely nothing about them! Everything you assume about them is a story you’ve created – It’s a puzzle that you can put together in your mind, taking the story wherever you want.

  1. Remember your stories

We’ve all done this all too many times – we think of the greatest, most brilliantly creative story idea ever… then completely forget all of the details when we go to sit down and start writing. And we always think we’ll remember it – it’s an amazing story, after all, so how could we forget?

Take that extra 20 seconds to write it down, text it to yourself, take a picture of that thing that inspired the idea. Whatever you need to do to trigger yourself to remember it, because it will likely be long gone if you don’t.

You may not have a pen and paper on you at all times to write things down, but we almost always have our phones on us, so use yours to document your great ideas for later.

  1. Don’t trash your junk

Open your mailbox – real or electronic, and pull out a few pieces of junk mail or spam. There’s almost 100% certainty that there will be some in there on any given day. Use these random mailings as your inspiration for parts of your story – perhaps it’s the location of where the story takes place or the center of some scandal. It’s always fun to think of something first and see where the junk mail takes you! And, because the junk mail is endless, you’ll always have new material to draw from.

  1. Listen to what others are saying

Yes, this means literally. Grab a coffee, sit back and enjoy the conversations happening around you – the truth certainly can be stranger than fiction! Of course, you don’t need to take the entire story verbatim, but you certainly can get a little jolt of creative energy from eavesdropping on the conversations of those around you.

  1. Be free with your writing

Free writing is a long loved and often used technique to break out of the funk of writer’s block. Just sit down, pen in hand or keyboard at fingertips and start writing – keep writing… don’t stop. You can set a timer for yourself, but until you hear that buzzer, you keep jotting down anything that comes into your mind. Then, once time’s up, you can sit back and look at all of the weird and wonderful things you’ve thought of! The best part about free writing is that you can do it anytime, anywhere and as many times as you’d like. You’ll also find that the more you do it, the easier it will be and the faster ideas will start flowing from your mind.

  1. Write what you know

I’m not a magician in Vegas so, chances are, it’s not going to be the easiest thing for me to write a story based on that character. But, there are things I’m familiar with that I can easily write for days about. Not only will these ideas come easier to me, but the stories will sound more natural and legitimate because I actually know what I’m talking about.

  1. Use online writing and idea generating tools and resources

There are so many incredible idea generating resources available online to help get over any writer’s block you may be dealing with. Take advantage of what you have at your disposal, and you’ll never be staring blankly at a computer screen again, waiting for the ideas to jump into your head.

Scholastic Story Starters
For school-aged writers, looking to get help jump starting a story idea, the Scholastic Story Starters helps generate ideas using a number of different, randomly chosen components. ‘Spin the wheel’ to see where the story will take you!

The Story Starter
Sometimes the hardest part of writing a story is getting that first sentence written down. Well, The Story Starter does that for you, so you can get past that first hurdle and move onto the rest of the story!

Australian Help
Reference the guides found at Australian Help to inform you when it comes to properly referencing items, avoiding plagiarism and using correct grammar. They also have great writing guides in their online library for you to use.

Take a different approach to generating your ideas with Plinky. They start by asking you the questions, so the story will always begin differently for each person, depending on how they are inclined to answer.

Big Assignments
If you need a little help, whether it’s with content creation or editing and proofreading your final product, turn to Big Assignments for timely, professional help.

Imagination Prompt Generator
Trigger those ideas that are locked away in your head with this prompter, that asks you a variety of different questions to get you thinking with random ideas and questions.

Things To Think About
This app uses 100 prompts to initiate conversations and ideas when they’ve gone stagnant. Created by Michigan students and teach students and teachers, it’s great for use in a classroom to get group discussions started or individually to generate stories.

Ox Essays
If you’re stuck in a writing rut and need a boost of creativity, get some expert help from the team at Ox Essays. Whether you need them to put together a complete story for you, or to review what you’ve already created, their professionals will help you to your full satisfaction.

Easy Word Count
If your story needs to meet a certain word requirement, or stay within a given limit, use the Easy Word Count tool to make sure you’re hitting the right number.

Cite It In
Once you’ve got your story written, it’s important to refer to any sources you drew direct inspiration from. Cite It In will help you correctly cite any of your resources simply by inputting the necessary information into the fields.

Pull yourself out of any writer’s rut your in, and get the creativity flowing with the help of these awesome idea generating resources.


Ok writers! When do ideas come to you and how do you make them stick?

Join us on Monday for Round Two of Becke Martin Davis’ Rituals and Superstitions


Bio: Gloria Kopp is a web content writer and an elearning consultant from Manville city. She graduated from University of Wyoming and started a career of a creative writer. She has recently launched her Studydemic educational website and is currently working as a freelance writer and editor.

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8 Responses to “7 Tactics for Creative Writers to Generate New Story Ideas by Gloria Kopp”

  1. Morning Gloria!

    I always get the best ideas while driving..and there isn’t a lot you can do. I used to have a handheld voice recorder that worked great for ideas and shopping lists…=) but it got lost in one of my moves..

    The other great time for ideas is when I’m just falling asleep. I’m always positive I’ll remember in the morning, but i don’t. Might be time to buy another recorder!

    Thanks for all the great ideas!


    Posted by Carrie Peters | April 21, 2017, 9:43 am
  2. You list of helps is unique. I’ll keep this post handy. Thank you for sharing.

    Posted by Glynis Jolly | April 21, 2017, 1:24 pm
  3. Great article! Very helpful.

    Posted by Terry | April 21, 2017, 4:59 pm
  4. Thanks, Gloria.

    I text ideas to myself, as you mentioned in your second point.

    I’m also considering a wristband dictation device. Even while driving, a writer can press a button, dictate the idea, and press the button again to stop the recording.

    Posted by Kathy Steinemann | April 24, 2017, 4:59 pm
  5. Thanks for the help. Great Post

    Posted by Barbara | April 27, 2017, 4:17 am


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