Monday, August 27, 2012

Inspiration Exercise

Margo asked: "What writing exercise do you find most valuable for inspiration/originality?"

Yet another great question! You guys are awesome.

Sometimes creativity comes in unusual ways. My inspirations usually come from What If questions. So for example, I might try to come up with a what if and then take that one and twist it somehow. A good exercise is to come up with something that doesn't have to be original, but then change one element of it. Keep going until you have a bunch of alternatives. For example, start with: 

  • Girl falls in love with werewolf. 
  • Boy falls in love with werewolf.
  • Vampire falls in love with werewolf.
  • Boy hates werewolf and is jealous of popularity.
Keep going until you have some crazy ones. Chances are there won't even be a werewolf when you're done. ;D 

Another exercise I like is writing a scene in first person from a different character's POV. 

What are some other exercises you like? Share with each other in the comments!


  1. For some reason, my ideas usually don't come through what if questions. It's usually an image, a movie, a fleeting thought, an overheard conversation...and then the rest is worked out through hard work. Though I do believe the what if questions would help fine tune the premise!

  2. Great ideas Lisa. I don't usually do well with exercises for some reason. But I love reading about them because they get me thinking.

  3. I love this idea. It's not how I usually do it when I come up with an idea. But I'm going to try it in the future. :D

  4. Hey! I've never tried EITHER of these exercises, and I'm SO doing it now. These are great, LG! I usually just daydream a while until an idea keeps going (and going and going)... :o) <3

  5. I love what ifs!! It's so much fun to keep asking yourself those questions - amazing what the brain can come up with in a short time!

  6. I haven't worked with either of these before. I especially like changing the POV...lots of good insight to be gained from that!

  7. Oh, those are great! I love writing a scene from another character's POV. It opens up so much sub-text and tension. I also like sitting down as someone other than my MC and just writing whatever comes to mind. I've never NOT had a book idea, so I don't really know where that first inspiration comes from, but I'm otherwise inspired by all sorts of things - street names, song lyrics, family situations... Then I usually see how I can add them into my current wip.

  8. I like to just write out plot summaries in a notebook. I jot down all sorts of possibilities about character, backstory, graphic locations, descriptions, whatever comes to mind. Eventually those that "work" rise above the rest and make into the story.

  9. What a great exercise! Right now my brain is so full of stuff, I need to spend a little time just relaxing my head and figuring stuff out :/

  10. I am laughing over the boy loves werewolf because that's exactly what happened in the novel Nightshade.

    And really laughing over the vampire loves the werewolf, I'm totally seeing a Twilight werewolf and one of the Volturi vampires falling in love and, um, I'll stop here while I'm ahead.

    I do a version of the what if game that you'll really appreciate (I think) because you're the one who taught me to utilize your fears in your novels. So when I'm what-if-ing I always throw a fear question in there. Like what if vampires and werewolves were both afraid of unicorns?

    Yeah, I had to get a unicorn reference in there.

    Thanks for tackling my question! I'm going to try a few scenes from another POV, I like that!

  11. I love What If exercises, those are so fun! One of my favorites is to pick a place in the world, research a bit about it's history, and find an interesting story within it.

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