I tend to look up writing prompts online from time to time.
Oh yeah! I forgot about writing prompts! I need to invest more into writing prompts, thanks for the suggestion!
When I don't have a story idea but I want to tell a story, then I try to research nonfiction or consume other storytelling media. If I think of a part of a story, sometimes research or another story fills in the gaps.
Other times, I analyze story structure. This is when fairy tales have been helpful, especially when they're relatively obscure. Then I think up of things like "The Ballad of Tam Lin, but in outer space with giant robots that can shoot laserbeams" or "The Little Mermaid, but in outer space with giant robots that can shoot laserbeams" or "Pygmalion, but in outer space with a human-sized robot that can shoot laserbeams..."
Uh, so after a while I notice that maybe for some reason I really really really like outer space robots of varying sizes that can shoot laserbeams? So sometimes I can start there, with a genre that I like...or even, "I'm sick of sci-fi, I want to write Regency romance," or a gothic thriller mystery, or a sports drama, or steampunk.
Or you can start there, if you like contemporary realistic fiction or historical dramas or medieval fantasy.
Another way is to have strong feelings about an issue that impacted you and then try to explore those feelings or thoughts. Like, if there's somebody in my friends group that hit on me and then gets hostile if you reject him (which you will, or you should, primarily because he gets hostile when people are exercising their basic right to be honest and happy and have peace of mind without him) then I create a supervillain in a superhero setting that will give me those feelings because I already have those feelings. At first, it is going to bear a resemblance to somebody in my life who threatened or harmed me, or otherwise ruined my day. But as I develop the story, the character becomes more original and unrecognizable. The villain character might even end up portraying something closer to my own personal 'shadow side'.
As far as writing prompts go, not really, but I tend to write from personal life experiences, no matter how grand, trivial, or just plain odd.
One of the books Iím writing is a horror novel inspired by a chance encounter with some insects that inspired me to research demons that are affiliated with them in some way or other.
I eventually found a very specific species of insect that is known from the U.S. State Iím living in that, incidentally (or intentionally, but I havenít been able to find out), shares the exact same name as an extremely obscure fallen angel that is sometimes associated with Satan, instead of the Morningstar.
Edited by Angelspawndragon on Dec 4th 2022 at 5:24:37 AM
Thereís always the tried and true method of taking a well-known story and putting it in another context. Like Hercules but itís a science fiction story or Moby Dick done as a crime thriller. Recently I did Dracula as a James Bond-esque spy thriller.
I find that not only do you get a good story out of it (as often they were already good stories) but it also gives you a new perspective and often a deeper appreciation for the original. I think being able to find and work with the core meaning or structure of a story is a valuable skill for a writer.
i ask myself questions and answer them ; mostly "why" and "how" -
i might ask "what haven't i spun a tale about?" and answer "a hotel" ; then i might ask myself "why is a hotel interesting?" and answer "because most of the guests will only show up once but the staff will always be present" - i might ask "how does each staff member deal with each guest?" and answer "most staff members are sincerely friendly, but some are only performatively friendly and a few are so neutral that guests tend to regard them as rude" ~ and so on until i have a very basic tale *
Edited by nekomoon14 on Dec 28th 2022 at 1:12:45 AM
My ideas just sort of pop into my brain at random. I don't go fishing for ideas so much as I just chill out and go about my day until the ideas jump out at me. A lot of times I'll get inspiration from things like listening to music or watching TV or something though, but the ideas can sometimes take a while to fully form.
But yeah I don't actively seek out story ideas, I just let them come to me.
It's hard coming up with story ideas. Any methods some of y'all use?