This week, sites to generate ideas and spark creative thinking. Are you champing at the bit, ready to start a new project, but can’t fix on a starting point? Or perhaps you’ve come to a sticky patch in something you already have on the go? Whichever it is, hopefully one of these sites will provide the inspiration you need….and an ancient post of mine, A Walk Round The (Writer’s) Block, might prove useful too.
Plinky: ‘because sometimes you need a push’. Plinky prompts can be sent to you via email, Facebook, Twitter or Tumblr and there is a new one every day. They used to do specific creative writing prompts but as far as I can tell these are a thing of the past (they used to include prompts such as ‘write the dialogue between a cop and the mother of a lost child’). Also, overall the prompts seem to require less soul searching than they used to – describing the worst day in your life is very powerful, but describing your three most hated Facebook statuses, perhaps less so. Despite that, they are still very useful and it amazes me that so many writers are still ignorant of Plinky; there will be something to get you thinking at least a few days a week. You get a recap of the week’s prompts every week by email, and on the website you can access hundreds of old prompts – and perhaps even better, look at other people’s answers. Inspiration gold!
This site has a whole host of useful features including some excellent printable worksheets. The whole site is well worth any time you have spare for browsing, but for the purposes of inspiration these pages are the ones to focus on:
Free-writing exercises and scenes to write up
First lines and paragraphs to get your story brain working.
These exercises are in the young writers’ section, but are useful for writers of any age!
Scroll down the page until you see category listings. Category 1 is Images – visual prompts; anything from ‘a car with a web of cracks on a side window’ to ‘a star was tattooed on his brow’. Other categories are phrases, concepts and techniques.
‘PostSecret is an ongoing community art project where people mail in their secrets anonymously on one side of a homemade postcard.’ I think this mission statement – or perhaps it’s more of a raison d’etre – tells you why it is a great place for story and character ideas.
This novel site has a random story generator and, in the left hand side bar, a whole host of genres – click on one and you will find lots of info on the chosen genre and links to story generators for that genre. Very…novel!
And as a bonus – I’m not an ipad user, but the apps below were mentioned in Webbo’s Web Watch in the September issue of Writing Magazine. Thanks, Webbo 🙂 I’ve added the links so you can investigate for yourself.