Thursday, April 26, 2012

No Shop for Ideas

Some of us are asking Where do you get your column or article ideas rather than How do you think up article ideas - the person quizzing us is implying that there is a shop somewhere - known only to professional article writers - where we go to get ideas for articles.

Some of us would not admit to the silly, sad, quirky and downright worrying things that suddenly appeal to our imaginations and make them rush to put down a story article or a column on paper because we always thought that by doing it is weirdness - without realizing that if we can think up two, three, six or more article ideas a day - they are as likely to share that solid-gold secret as a guaranteed system for attracting more traffics and views.

The truth is that article writers or columnists don't need an idea shop. They are constantly churning over snippets of ideas in their heads, slotting together random thoughts and seeing what gels into the beginning of an article. They keep their eyes and ears open.

Observation is the key. Don't let ourselves become so hassled that we don't have time to look around. Article ideas are all around us. We just need to stop and watch. By recording things that we see around us improves our observational skills. So stop, watch, record and think.

Sources for ideas:

1. What if - Here we must imagine a world where everything we know gets turned on it head. What if there was a place where children hated ice cream but loved vegetables. What if animals could talk as fluently as the same the language that people use?

2. Talking Pictures - grab a bundle of old magazines. Cut out any pictures that take your fancy. Stick them in a drawer. When you look at them months later - out of context - you will be astounded by the ideas they spark.

3. Holy Smoke - people have been raiding the Bible for story ideas for more than 2,000 years - why stop now? Cain and Abel, Adam and Eve, Noah's Ark. There is not copyright on it.

4. Once Upon a Time - there is no copyright on fairy tales. Imagine the fun you can have sticking Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs into fiction setting - maybe she's an astronaut and the dwarfs are aliens.

5. Read All About It - the newspapers are packed with story ideas - hidden away in the quirky fillers at the bottom of the page. A quick scan of one day's papers should provide us with enough ideas to write.

6. Scribbles - jotting down a line or two when we see or hear something that tickles our imagination while we are out and about. Then when we need to write a story article - we will have a fund of potential ideas.

7. Funny Titles - when we are out and about or when we are alone sitting down on our favorite chair, we sometimes spotted ourselves laughing - usually it is happening when we are thinking event happened from the past or an event happened just recently. They are mine of ideas too.

8. Bard Luck - Shakespeare can be another great source of ideas. Sometimes you have to take time to read Shakespeare writings.

9. All The Pun of The Fair - we can also get a quirky new article idea from playing about with puns - about the humorous use of a word or phrase so as to emphasize or suggest its different meanings or applications, or the use of words that are alike or nearly alike in sound but different in meaning.

10. Nick, Nick - I am not advocating plagiarism. I don't suggest that we will go round stealing other people's articles and stories but we can come up with fresh ideas using published works as inspiration. We can also borrow from ourselves. If we are lucky enough to have several published articles under our belts we can go back and look at them and rewrite them.

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About the Author – My favorite Saying: “Dream Big and don’t stop without giving it a chance to come true.” I am a father of 3 for 25 years, OFW for 17 years , a Blogger, sometimes a Poet, Self-motivated and Professional by experience. You can call me Paul or Pruel. I am friendly animal but can kick you off when it is needed. LOL. I have no specific areas where my writing will focus on. I write any subject that interests me under the merciless sun.

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