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Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Writing Wednesday

Where do you get your inspiration to write what you write?

They say to write what you know, which is a good suggestion.
Some people live a very interesting life and get ideas from their experiences.

If I did that, my stories would be very boring. So, what I did for one of my stories was to write about what I wished would have happened to me when I was young. In my opinion, it is one of my best stories I have written. That story, The Family Secret, is the one that I am now trying so hard to get published.

Another favorite method, especially in children's stories, is the what if method.

What if the scarecrow attracted the crows instead of scaring them away.
What if you discovered the house next door to you was haunted.
What if you had a dinosaur as your class mascot.
What if someone had a pet skunk and brought it to school for Show and Tell.

If you use your imagination, good stories can develop from those what if situations. 

Some people get ideas from reading the newspaper.

Another challenge would be to pick up a book that you have been reading and take the first line of it and start your own story. That is where I got my idea for Lucy of Tupper's Hollow. The book next to me was Christy, by Catherine Marshall. I love, love, love that book! I first read it in Junior High School and have read it many times since. It takes place in the early 1900s,  which happens to be the time period my grandparents lived in. I fictionalized my grandparents early years of marriage. I took facts from their life and wove them into a fictional  story. Of course, if this story ever gets into print, I do not know how my family members will react to it. They just have to remember that it is fiction.

Over at Clara Gillow Clark's site, she posted about a book that was inspired from a photo. If you like historical fiction, go over and check it out.

Also, Joanne at Whole Latte Life uses pictures to inspire her blog posts. I have been inspired by her and have started using pictures, too, for inspiration. It really works!  Pictures are very helpful. A few posts back, I wrote a poem that was inspired by a photo of an old barn.

What has inspired your stories to come to life?

If you are not a writer, but would like to become one, I hope some of these ideas will inspire you.

Happy writing!


  1. On my blog, the posts are definitely inspired by photographs. I like looking at life through the lens, it brings a different perspective to the page. Even my manuscripts are sparked by what-if situations, triggered by something I've heard or seen, by a "snapshot" of life.

  2. Yes, Joanne, you are a very good example of writing being inspired by photos. You have been an inspiration to me, I added a link to your page so people can hop over and visit your blog.

  3. Another writer friend and I were just talking about where I get ideas from. I just passed your excellent piece on to her. Thank you!!

  4. Janet,
    These are great ideas to write. Thanks for sharing these with us. I sure do need inspiration during this cold, long, winter.

  5. You always have such interesting writing posts. I will be glad when I have more time to write. These are all wonderful ideas for writing prompts.

  6. Thanks for the shout out for my blog, Janet, and for this very inspiring post! (I've had a difficult time leaving a comment recently, but I finally got through today!) Write on!

  7. Life baby and I have an imagination that grew up with me. My head is never a 'quite' place! Heeehehe!!!

    God bless ya sweetie and have an extraordinary day!!!

  8. I write non-fiction. Experience, photography, observation, research, and field work are what have always helped me. Oh, and photos for family chronicles. -- thanks for the good blog -- barbara


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