Shop Mobile More Submit  Join Login


Fishing for INSPIRATION?
~~~~~~~~~~~
Your imagination is a pond that you fish your ideas from. Like any fishing pond, what you catch depends on what you've stocked your pond with and how much you put in there. If you fish for only the occasional idea, your little ideas have time to breed creatively until they overflow the pond, leaping right out into your hand -- and onto your keyboard. If you fish a lot, you will have to restock -- Frequently.

A Dry Pond = Writer's Block


What's in YOUR Imagination?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

What do you KNOW?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
What do you love to Do, to Study, to Think About, to Talk About...? Make a list of all the things you know well and all the things you've done -- seriously! Mythology, history, any retail jobs you might have had -- anything you might have seen, done, or studied.

WHO do you KNOW?
Have you ever met...?

• A real Criminal?
• A real Hero?
• A real Romantic?
• A real Stalker?
• A real Witch?
• A real Cop?
• A real Private Investigator?
• A real Soldier?
• A real Stripper?
• A real political figure?
• A real rebellious Teen?
• A real ghost?
• Someone truly in Love?
• A real happily married couple? -- with children?
• Someone who Defied the stereotypes seen on TV?

What have you DONE?
Have you ever Experienced...?

• A real loving relationship?
• An abusive relationship?
• An obsessive infatuation?
• College?
• Camping?
• Driving cross country?
• Being a problem child?
• A corporate job?
• A fast food job?
• A foreign country?
• Military service?
• Using a sword?
• Magic?

What can you ADD to your Imagination?
EVERYTHING!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The more you add to your pond – the richer and more creative your stock. For the best and most creative results from your imagination, throw in everything that catches your attention, from Saturday morning cartoons to the latest romance, to newspaper articles.

• Adding books and movies – will generate fun and interesting situations.
• Adding research – will add ACCURACY.
• Adding emotional experience – will add DEPTH.  
• Adding physical experience – will add REALISM.

Read everything you can get your hands on from non-fiction such as history and mythology to ghost stories, but most importantly, OBSERVE the world around you because THAT goes into your writing too. Do things! See things! Experience things! The wider the range of information and experiences you toss in your imagination, the wider the range of ideas you will come up with.

Give your self little Observation exercises to train yourself to write about them:
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Describe exactly how it feels when your hand is sliding down a banister.
What does a wooden wall feel like as opposed to a stone wall?
Can you describe the carpet under your feet?
Can you describe the sound of your fingers on your keyboard?
What does water taste like?
Can you describe what eating a hamburger is like?
How is wearing a long skirt different from wearing pants?
Can you describe the clouds in the sky?
What does ice taste like?

Observe your friends:
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Can you describe a smile?
How about a frown?
What does Worry look like on someone's face?
How is a Happy smile different from a Sarcastic smile?
Can you describe someone who is nervous?
How about angry?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Your Memory of all that you've experienced is the most important tool a writer has because ALL of it ends up in their stories. Keep your Memory sharp and well honed by using it as much as you possibly can. This will also keep you from making the fewest MISTAKES.

Think: HOW do you KNOW?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Do you actually Know -- or are you making it up as you go along? Where is your knowledge actually coming from?

• Books?
• Role Playing Games?
• Movies?
• TV shows?
• The Internet?
• First-hand Experience?

Knowledge is POWER and Experience is even more so! Someone who has never kissed isn't going to be able to write a kissing scene as well as someone who has. Worst of all, someone with experience will know IMMEDIATELY when the writer doesn't know what they're talking about. Once that happens, they're closing your story -- never to look at it again.

Hunting for the WHOPPER  
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Every good fisherman knows to throw back the ones that are too small, so they can grow up and be worth catching later. The same goes for Ideas - throw back the small ideas so they can grow up to become Big Ideas.

Never ever Rush an idea! If it's too small to use – toss it back. If you try to make a meal (a project) out of a half-grown idea, you will only end up with a half-serving of what could have been something much bigger, juicier, and tastier.

The only way to catch Whoppers is to let your ideas swim around in your pond until they grow up to be Whoppers.


YOU CAN'T STEAL AN IDEA!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Stealing TEXT is plagiarism, but stealing Ideas is a physical impossibility. Seeing a cool idea and tossing it into your imagination is good for your imagination. New ideas add color, breadth, flavor, and texture to what's already there.

But! But! But! – BULLSH!T!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Every writer is different, with different things swimming around in their imaginations. You can give five writers the exact same idea – and even let them see each others ideas – and they will still come up with something totally different.

Case in point, VAMPIRES: Brahm Stoker, Angela Knight, Christine Feehan, Charlaine Harris, Laurell K. Hamilton, Stephanie Meyers, and Jim Butcher. Need I say more?


In Conclusion...
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Keep your Imagination stocked and you will always have ideas swimming around just waiting to be caught!

Enjoy!
DISCLAIMER: As with all advice, take what you can use and throw out the rest. As a multi-published author, I have been taught some fairly rigid rules on what is publishable and what is not. If my rather straight-laced (and occasionally snotty,) advice does not suit your creative style, by all means, IGNORE IT.

Ookami Kasumi
[link]

Looking for more Writing Tips & Tricks?
Add a Comment:
 
:icon1st-hashirama-senju:
1st-Hashirama-Senju Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2014

This is a great article.


Inspiration for a story can come from many places. Also, sometimes I get ideas but am not sure will work so I made a list of ideas, and after a while it develops into something even better. Some ideas start to make more sense as a single story instead of in different stories.


And I liked the part about stealing ideas, it’s only wrong to steal the text of the story. And it’s true that, like the vampire books, people draw inspiration from others. And sometimes even create their own new idea or something that will give inspiration to others.  

Reply
:iconookamikasumi:
OokamiKasumi Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2014  Professional Writer
EVERYTHING is a Remix!
YouTube: www.youtube.com/watch?v=coGpmA…
Reply
:icon1st-hashirama-senju:
1st-Hashirama-Senju Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2014
That is a good video.

And that is true.
Reply
:iconimiss2010:
Imiss2010 Featured By Owner Jun 25, 2013
Another thing, sorry I'm asking you so many questions. I hope I'm not pissing you off. But during the sex scences in erotica, how do I write the moaning and groaning? Do I say ,"she moaned?" Or do I write their sounds as dialogue or something. This confuses me.
Reply
:iconookamikasumi:
OokamiKasumi Featured By Owner Jul 5, 2013  Professional Writer
The best way to learn this is by reading 'published' porn; as in BOOKS, and looking at how the professionals do it. Online porn is no good because its loaded with beginner mistakes.

Just so you know, writing the sounds as dialogue is something only beginners do.
Reply
:iconimiss2010:
Imiss2010 Featured By Owner Jul 9, 2013
Thank you very much, I really appreciate this.
Reply
:iconookamikasumi:
OokamiKasumi Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2013  Professional Writer
Glad I could help!
Reply
:iconimiss2010:
Imiss2010 Featured By Owner Jun 25, 2013
I like to watch porn, where should I go from there?
Reply
:iconookamikasumi:
OokamiKasumi Featured By Owner Jul 5, 2013  Professional Writer
The next steps after watching porn, are:
1) Shutting off the volume and replacing the dialogue with your own Out Loud -- while the movie is running.

2) Shutting off the volume and DESCRIBING what you're looking at Out Loud -- while the movie is running.

3)Putting that particular sex scene in a completely Different story.
Reply
:iconirishtemper:
IrishTemper Featured By Owner May 14, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Great advice! I especially enjoy the bit about little observations. It's all too easy to find a story that rings hollow because the world hasn't quite been fleshed out. Characters should have senses and emotions that play out through their expressions, behavior and interaction with their surroundings, rather than simply being hand delivered to the reader. =D
Reply
:iconookamikasumi:
OokamiKasumi Featured By Owner May 30, 2013  Professional Writer
I agree with you, 100%.
-- I'm glad you liked my essay.
Reply
:iconrepogentleman:
RepoGentleman Featured By Owner Apr 28, 2013
It's a funny thing, really. I've read books, played games, watched movies and cartoons- and I've been to the deepest depths of the internet as well. Every story I know has inspired an idea; a fantastic idea at first, but the feeling fades. I have an incredibly hard time finding and keeping inspiration, even to the extent of wondering if I have a mental or emotional disability. I've had so many ideas, so many colorful scenerios playing through my head- but never do I find a story in all the chaos.
I do, however, enjoy the few writing tutorials of yours that I've read so far. If those are your personal guidelines, then you really know what you're doing- and I very much appricate your effort to help the writing community. Thank you.
Reply
:iconookamikasumi:
OokamiKasumi Featured By Owner May 30, 2013  Professional Writer
They were all written from my personal experience as an author struggling to make her editors happy.
Reply
:iconcapriciousuke:
CapriciousUke Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
The fish and pond analogy is very clever! *^^*
Reply
:iconookamikasumi:
OokamiKasumi Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2013  Professional Writer
And accurate too. :)
Reply
:iconizzi1313:
Izzi1313 Featured By Owner Dec 13, 2012  Hobbyist
My mom's been complaining about suffering from Writer's block for AGES! I'm going to show her this as soon as she comes home tonight! it's bound to help her somehow! :D
As a side note, that last part about stealing ideas? it really put me at ease, since I've been feeling guilty about getting most of my inspiration from other people's creativity.. It's just nice to hear -read- someone say, "That's alright!"
So, Thanks! I guess :aww:
Reply
:iconookamikasumi:
OokamiKasumi Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2013  Professional Writer
Stealing ideas is not only alright, it's Expected. Seriously! You can't learn to draw if you don't copy right? Well, the same goes for writing.
Reply
:iconzireael07:
Zireael07 Featured By Owner Jul 18, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Love the part about stealing and rushing ideas. Brilliant!
Reply
:iconookamikasumi:
OokamiKasumi Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2012  Professional Writer
Thank you!
Reply
:iconfakemontrainer:
Fakemontrainer Featured By Owner Jul 2, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I've learnt many from this. :dummy:
I also like the other tutorials, are you going to write more?
Reply
:iconookamikasumi:
OokamiKasumi Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2012  Professional Writer
I'm glad you liked it.
-- Of course I will write more, as soon as I bump into something someone wants to know that I haven't already written about.
Reply
:iconjust4matt:
Just4Matt Featured By Owner Mar 19, 2012  Student General Artist
im kinda sad that most of my work turns out to look the same at one point or another.. so this helps me alot O__O THANKS :)
Reply
:iconookamikasumi:
OokamiKasumi Featured By Owner Mar 21, 2012  Professional Writer
You're very welcome.
-- I'm glad I could help. :)
Reply
:icongrievuspwn4g3:
grievuspwn4g3 Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2012
I used to worry about the bad prose in my gallery - you know, how they have shortcomings, and I can't work around them - then I realised that if I start a piece and then stop, I probably don't have a block but a finished piece.

Even if I'm not terribly fond of them, to put it politely...
Reply
:iconookamikasumi:
OokamiKasumi Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2012  Professional Writer
If the situation presented at the beginning of your story is Resolved, then you do indeed have a finished Story.

However, if the situation is Not resolved then you merely have a completed Scene.
Reply
:icongrievuspwn4g3:
grievuspwn4g3 Featured By Owner Jan 30, 2012
true
Reply
:iconxxha5loxx:
XxHA5LOxX Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
This is awesome advice! Thanks,for the writing! :love: It helped me a lot! :la:
Reply
:iconookamikasumi:
OokamiKasumi Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2012  Professional Writer
Excellent!
-- I love being helpful. :)
Reply
:iconlivinanotherworld:
livinanotherworld Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
very inserational! i don't know why but i feel that, if you haven't already, you should try your hand at poetry. just a thought. :D
Reply
:iconookamikasumi:
OokamiKasumi Featured By Owner Jul 2, 2011  Professional Writer
"...I don't know why but I feel that, if you haven't already, you should try your hand at poetry."

Thank you, but I'm terrible at poetry. I just don't have the depth of feelings it takes to write it. Seriously.
Reply
:iconlivinanotherworld:
livinanotherworld Featured By Owner Jul 2, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
your welcome but I still think you do have the depth to write poetry, your just not good at wrighting it down.
Reply
:iconookamikasumi:
OokamiKasumi Featured By Owner Jul 2, 2011  Professional Writer
Thank you.
-- I am definitely not good at writing it down. :)
Reply
:iconlivinanotherworld:
livinanotherworld Featured By Owner Jul 3, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
your welome
yeah niether am I. ^_^;
Reply
:iconsuper-illustrator0:
super-illustrator0 Featured By Owner Jun 23, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
And even though I'm so inspired that I spend more time on my stock than my actual story, I'll still go copy paste this one. Farewell.
Reply
:iconookamikasumi:
OokamiKasumi Featured By Owner Jun 23, 2011  Professional Writer
As long as it's useful to you, that's all that matters to me.
Reply
:icondarnimax:
Darnimax Featured By Owner Apr 21, 2011
I agree with you on not being able to steal an idea, but I can't help but feel that when Stephenie Meyer thrust "Twilight" unto the world, suddenly every young-adult story became about vampires. (Anything that ISN'T about vampires is about teen drug use, the Victorian era, or uses phrases ripped from text-messaging in the title.) All I'm saying is that I WISH writers were more afraid of being acused of stealing an idea; it seems like they're ALL trying to write book that eclipses all the other books in a given genre...and they're ALL failing at it. If they just went in different directions entirely, I might find a good, fresh book now and again.

Just felt the need to rant a little. More importantly, your writing tips are VERY thought-provoking. Now I want to go write!

Also, I feel I should mention that I capitalize random words because I never figured out how to italicize in these comments.
Reply
:iconembrynstormcat:
EmbrynStormcat Featured By Owner Oct 27, 2011
have you ever heard of 'new moan'? it's a parody of the first two twilight books, and though the story is - however original - as much nonsense as the original, it does contain one idea i seem to be seeing come true now that i know of it: writing (and other media, think of all the comic-based movies at the moment) comes in some sort of little 'ages', moments in which everyone is suddenly writing about the same thing. first there was harry potter, and everything (i saw) was about magic. then came vampires - whether Meyer indused that one or not - and suddenly all was about vampires. i seem to have noticed, right after that, that werewolves were making a slight comeback for a while, and now all's about the heroes, or it's - well - not my cup of tea, at least. anyway, that's just an observation of mine, might just be what i see in the situation i am and stuff...
Reply
:iconookamikasumi:
OokamiKasumi Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2011  Professional Writer
I WISH writers were more afraid of being accused of stealing an idea; it seems like they're ALL trying to write book that eclipses all the other books in a given genre...and they're ALL failing at it. If they just went in different directions entirely, I might find a good, fresh book now and again.

I'm absolutely positive that the publishing editors for those YA houses are saying the exact same thing.

More importantly, your writing tips are VERY thought-provoking. Now I want to go write!

EXCELLENT! I love being inspiring.

Also, I feel I should mention that I capitalize random words because I never figured out how to italicize in these comments.

Go here: DeviantPLUS v3. Get that.
Reply
:iconshaedry:
Shaedry Featured By Owner Dec 26, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
One: This tutorial is awesome, thank you so much for posting it!

Two: A reasonably sized idea, would be something where you know the "Beginning, middle, and end" right? And a few bits in between?

Right now, my fishing rod is being overused :P
Reply
:iconookamikasumi:
OokamiKasumi Featured By Owner Dec 27, 2010  Professional Writer
One: My pleasure! I'm glad you like it.

Two: Correct! Though this actually can depend on the individual writer. For some, having a really good character can be enough to jump-start a whole story making it a 'reasonably sized idea' all by itself.
Reply
:iconshaedry:
Shaedry Featured By Owner Dec 27, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
:hug:

Alright, thanks for letting me know :)You are a real help to wannabe novelists like myself, thank you! :D
Reply
:iconookamikasumi:
OokamiKasumi Featured By Owner Dec 27, 2010  Professional Writer
I'm glad I could help.
Reply
:icontaiyoukou-chan:
Taiyoukou-chan Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2010  Student Traditional Artist
Im lying 3 miles outside the metaphorical pond begging for water :) lol

But there is some good advice here... :) thank you for writing this ^^
Reply
:iconookamikasumi:
OokamiKasumi Featured By Owner Dec 2, 2010  Professional Writer
Have you tried digging a well?
-- Seriously. I suspect that the pond is there, just underground. In fact, right under your feet.

I'm glad you liked the essay!
Reply
:icontaiyoukou-chan:
Taiyoukou-chan Featured By Owner Dec 2, 2010  Student Traditional Artist
Yea! And ended up in Australia :)

The general ideas are there, but it just needs something to pull it altogether, y'know??

Im really glad you wrote it!! :D
Reply
:iconookamikasumi:
OokamiKasumi Featured By Owner Dec 2, 2010  Professional Writer
If the general idea is there, then you probably have a well full of minnows that need to be fed to get bigger.

That means yo need to get out of the house and go DO things to feed your imagination.

When I realized that I had a well full of minnows and nothing big enough to work with, I had just graduated high school. I had never left my home town, had only ever done part-time waitressing jobs, and had yet to learn how to drive a car. In short. I had no life experience to work from.

Since then, I've lived in 7 states and two countries -- lived in, not merely visited. I've learned not only how to drive a car, but a motorcycle, ride a horse, and drive a semi tracker-trailer truck. I also did all kinds of jobs from being an auto mechanic, a library employee, in the military, a groom in a horse stable, an office worker, a stripper, a street-corner tarot-reading fortune teller, a security guard,n and participated in a Medieval Society as well as a BDSM club.

NOW I can quite literally write anything from contemporary and fantasy to sci-fi.

Seriously, you can only get so much from reading books and surfing the 'net.

What you can do Now though, is look at what you Do know already and build from that. Seriously, write a list of what you know Personally and see what kind of stories you can make from that.

Case in point, because I graduated high school in 1982, I CAN'T write a story about kids in high school today. I'd actually have to go to my local school and sit in the classes to see how kids today act and what they're currently learning.

You don't have that limitation. You could very easily write a ghost story that takes place in a school and actually make it realistic and current.

Think: How would Your teachers act around kids that are seeing ghosts -- when They are not?

-- How would You act if the empty desk right next to yours wasn't empty at all, but had a kid in it that only You could see?
-- What of that kid liked to make trouble?
-- What if you kept getting blamed for things the ghost was doing? How much trouble would you get into?
-- How would you deal with it?
-- How would you get rid of it?
-- COULD you get rid of it?
-- Would there be anyone local in town that could go to for help?

This is something only You could do because only You know your school and the people in your town. See?
Reply
:icontaiyoukou-chan:
Taiyoukou-chan Featured By Owner Dec 2, 2010  Student Traditional Artist
:jawdrop: WOW. Thank you so much!!

I guess at the moment, because I'm just a kid that I cant learn to drive or move to a different country (even though i REALLY want to) but even just, as you said, the normal things like school could be an inspiration.

One problem I get a lot is trying to find something with a bit of wow factor in it like, as you said "the empty desk right next to yours wasn't empty at all, but had a kid in it that only You could see..." just something like that to make the story special

I am a person who totally loves art, but dont just stay indoors, Iv been to quite a few countries for my age, love surfing, cycling and music festivals, i go to different social stuff with my friends and things...
... actually, I'v just had an idea....
Reply
:iconookamikasumi:
OokamiKasumi Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2010  Professional Writer
Excellent! I love being inspiring.
-- One of the things I learned is that the Weird stands out much clearer when you set it against the Ordinary and Everyday.

Something else to think about. Just because a school is brand new doesn't mean that it hadn't been built on the ruins of some some other building with a much older and nastier background like an old factory, a Victorian era orphanage, a castle, or even a battlefield.
Reply
:icontaiyoukou-chan:
Taiyoukou-chan Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2010  Student Traditional Artist
:D I can't wait to get started!!
Yea, like contrasting the odd with the normal, sounds like a good idea!

Thankyou so much for everything!! You've been super helpfull :D :D :D
Reply
:iconookamikasumi:
OokamiKasumi Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2010  Professional Writer
My pleasure.
Reply
(1 Reply)
Add a Comment:
 
×

:iconookamikasumi: More from OokamiKasumi


Featured in Collections

Writing by secretstarz7

Writing Resources by Usei

Tutorials by LelahWeekly


More from DeviantArt



Details

Submitted on
February 1, 2010
File Size
6.5 KB
Link
Thumb

Stats

Views
10,271 (8 today)
Favourites
460 (who?)
Comments
73
×