Brainstorming. All writers do it to get the gears of the mind turning. It’s easier if you have a group of writerly friends handy who can, at the drop of a hat, help you find inspiration. If you are like most writers, your need for inspiration will strike when you are least likely to be able to contact a human sounding board for your ideas. Never fear. With the click of your mouse, you can find your next flash of genius. Here are four places to visit when your muse has taken a long lunch.
The Story Starter generates a random sentence (sometimes supremely random) for you to run with. If you don’t like the one displayed, click the button and get a new one. Sooner or later one of these random nuggets is bound to spark a story.
Urban Dictionary is filled with user-created terms that often tell stories all by themselves. Great for little bursts of inspiration. Or longer bursts of procrastination. (Beware.)
Google’s Wonder Wheel. This is simply a search feature of Google that I’ve repurposed for brainstorming. If you’re unfamiliar with Wonder Wheel, here’s how it works. Enter a search term in Google and click “search.” Once you have the results, scroll down until you see “more search tools” in the left hand menu. Click on that, then on Wonder Wheel. You’ll get a clickable graphic showing different options to explore. The page results display to the right of the wheel. This is another one that is likely to cause bouts of procrastination. Although, I often discover my best ideas when I’m not focused on something specific.
Learn Something New Every Day. The title of this web site is also good advice for writers. New information often stimulates different thought patterns and generates ideas. As the name implies, this site features a new trivia fact (via comic-doodle delivery) every day. For example, did you know it is illegal in France to name your pig Napoleon? Now you do.
Need more inspiration? Click here.
- Brainstorming: A Guide to Breaking Through Your Barriers (blogs.sitepoint.com)