Well, that certainly snuck up on me. National Novel Writing Month, that annual event where writers of all ages and skill levels promise to write—every day. I’m doing it again! (I know, I’m a little late to the party…I don’t even have my idea yet!)
Last year on the blog, I wrote the A to Z of writing, which you can check out in the archives, starting with “A” here. But I decided not to do that again because, well, writing the blogs is a LOT of work, and it takes away from my daily word count, which I’ve set at a modest 167 words. (I have five days to catch up on, but that’s okay…it’s the weekend!) By the end of the month, I SHOULD be at 5,000 words—which is pretty good since the official NaNoWriMo goal (if you’re an adult!) is 50,0000. (Can you imagine writing that much in a month?)
Maybe you’re doing a classroom NaNoWriMo project?
So anyway, instead of doing daily blogs, I thought this month, I’d do a weekly round-up of tips covering specific topics. Today, since I haven’t started writing yet, the topic is IDEAS. Where do you get them? How do you know what to write about? Good questions! Here are my top 5 brainstorming tips:
- Read the newspaper or flip through magazines. Sometimes a headline or an interesting fact can spark an idea. Did you know that the inspiration for the Superman Duffy comic It’s a Blast came from an article the author read about Canadian astronaut Robert Thirsk taking 200,000 canola seeds up into space?
- Watch movies! Yep, you guessed it, those action scenes can get your creative juices flowing. AMELIA “XERCES” DUFFY, the Superman Duffy comic featuring my sister, was apparently inspired by the (old) movie, Honey I Shrunk The Kids.
- Play with play dough. It sounds silly, but creating something from scratch—like a character—and then justifying the decisions you made (such as why you chose a specific hair colour) can be just the physical inspiration you need to create a whole back story for that character—and eventually, the plot to a new adventure!
- Do a Google search for writing prompts. Sometimes, all you need is a picture, or a first line to inspire you. Did you know that I post weekly story starters on the blog? You can find them here.
- Go for a walk or a run. Seriously. Sometimes you just need to clear your head. And, with the weather we’ve been having, there’s no better time to get that creative adrenaline flowing than now! (Don’t forget to write your ideas down as soon as you come back, though!)
There. That should be enough to get you started, right? Did I forget anything? Share your ideas in the comments so we can all GET WRITING!
Gotta jet! I have a LOT of words to catch up on…
~ Chase Superman Duffy