Starved For Inspiration? 12 Ideas To Get Your New Story Started

Writer’s Relief
3 min readMar 27, 2018

Suddenly, you have that empty feeling every writer dreads: writer’s block. Your once abundant imagination has left you with nothing but a few crumbs of ideas — and they’re all stale. What should you do when you’re trying to write a short story, but you can’t find the inspiration to get started? Don’t quit — try one of these suggestions instead!

What To Do When You’ve Run Out Of Ideas For Your Next Short Story

1. Draw on your own experiences!

Try writing a few short sketches about different personal anecdotes. Pick the one that inspires you most and turn it into a story. You can get creative and embellish real events for some fascinating fiction!

2. Use a writing prompt…

Writing prompts aren’t just for sleepy high school English classes! A good prompt can inspire a story-starting sentence, invoke some words to sprinkle throughout your writing, or lead to an unexpected scenario.

3. …or try a visual prompt!

Do you respond more to visual stimuli? Then try a photo prompt! Whether you or someone else creates the images you write about, visual prompts can jump-start your creativity.

4. Freewrite!

Stream-of-consciousness freewriting activities can help unlock your mind. You can start with a prompt, or whatever thought pops into your head (including: I don’t know what to write about!), or even something or someone near you.

6. Make an inside-out outline!

Sometimes, stories don’t come together in the order you expect! If you’re having trouble beginning a story, try to write an ending instead — and work backward from there.

7. Reinvent a famous scene!

Can’t come up with your own new idea? Springboard off someone else’s! Reimagine an already existing scene from literature or film in a new way — from a different character’s perspective, or during a different time period, etc. Be sure to follow copyright laws if you intend to publish your piece.

8. Eavesdrop or people watch!

Some of the best ideas come from overhearing or observing the people around you.

Writer’s Relief

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