Forum: Inspiration

Our heroine has a confession to make, dear Reader. I never liked writing exercises. Oh, I do them from time to time. They’re good for keeping the creative wheels greased. They strengthen your writing muscles. And other metaphors. How things change when we open our minds to new ideas.

I recently became involved in a hashtag on Twitter called #storystarters. Brainchild of Clifford Fryman (aka Selorian), storystarters are up to 125 characters of awesomeness. We write off-the-wall stuff to kick start someone’s muse. We have our muse kick started by someone else’s stuff. Who knows what may come of an innocent line or two? A paragraph, flash or short story. I’ve even been inspired by a storystarter to make a section of my novel more robust. Search #storystarters and write some or take some. I’ll occasionally write based on some here. (You’ve been warned.)

I was inspired to take a look around the web for what others recommend for inspiration. There were common themes. Is that lack of creativity? No. It means those techniques are tried and true. Give them a shot. Whether you need inspiration or just want to stretch creatively, these techniques are worth your time.

Writer In Progress has an article titled WIP Tip: Creatively Stuck? Try Something New. The title alone is good advice. Known on Twitter as Buckeye_BethM, Beth Morrow has a cozy voice and good advice. Can’t go wrong there. Take a look for ideas.

Sally Royder-Derr has a short but encouraging post about Imagination on her blog. I enjoyed it and think you may as well. You can research for your novel all you want. If you don’t have the imagination going to back that up, you’re going nowhere. Sally has some good advice about it.

I found on the Write to Done blog an article titled Zen Power Writing: 15 Tips on How to Generate Ideas and Write with Ease. Love that title. There are some good ideas here, so do take the time to read it, please.

Maybe you’re a fan. Perhaps your searches for writing advice mentioned him. Elmore Leonard is an often quoted example when it comes to writing fiction. This link is from a Leonard Forum. In it, people discuss where he and they get ideas for novels. There’s some clever stuff here.

Expand your creative horizons. You don’t have to use dry old writing exercises. There are so many options available. No doubt you can come up with some new ones. What works for you? Please leave me a note. I’m always interested in new techniques.


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9 thoughts on “Forum: Inspiration

  1. Anne Tyler Lord January 8, 2010 at 1:03 pm Reply


    These are great links. I found a couple new sites to follow in there. I have also been enjoying your tweets with #storystarters, interesting ideas for stories, those of us in #FridayFlash need those ideas when we write new stories every week.


    • Jessica Rosen January 8, 2010 at 2:37 pm Reply

      That’s great, Anne. Thanks for letting me know that the #storystarters are useful for #FridayFlash. I’ve been inching toward trying my hand at flash. Perhaps during breaks from editing the Through the Mirror series this year. You can give me pointers. I’m afraid I’m too wordy for flash.

      Take care,


      • Anne Tyler Lord January 8, 2010 at 3:48 pm

        Gee, that would be fun to have you join us in #FridayFlash – the last #storystarter was great – the EEG and shot! Don’t consider yourself too wordy – I’m the queen of that genre. I just started FridayFlash a few weeks ago and am just feeling my way through it. It is great practice for me to write more succinctly. It has helped me write better chapters in novels. And, the weekly deadline keeps me practicing.

        Have a great day!


  2. Anna January 8, 2010 at 1:58 pm Reply

    Like you, I don’t often use writing prompts. However, I find them really useful when I’m stuck, so I can see how the #storystarters idea would be really helpful. (I might have to try it out next time I’m not sure where my story should go!)

    I’ve also found that writing prompts can help me if I’m trying to figure out my characters. That’s why I started a blog of character-related writing prompts ( to help me, and others, work on developing characters. It’s amazing where you imagination can take you if you just give it a little nudge once in a while.

    Happy writing!


    • Jessica Rosen January 8, 2010 at 2:43 pm Reply

      That’s a great idea, Anna. Character development is critical. Even secondary characters must be multi-dimensional or the story falls flat. I’ll be sure to take a look, thanks. It seems to me that you’re using writing prompts in the best ways possible.

      Take care,
      Jessica Rosen


  3. thatannegirl January 10, 2010 at 12:52 am Reply

    Thank you for the interesting links. I love all the new information I find here every week. Personally, I create DVDs where pictures fitting the theme I want splash across the TV to music that give the same feeling. I play these anytime I need help and it has worked so far (*knocks on wood*)


    • Jessica Rosen January 10, 2010 at 6:52 pm Reply

      That’s such a clever idea, anne (should I assume your name?). I’ve never heard of anyone doing that. Do you have it on your blog? If so, could you leave a link to the entry, please? I want to bookmark it. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.

      Take care,
      Jessica Rosen


  4. […] 11, 2010 by thatannegirl Last week Jessica Rosen posted Forum: Inspiration with many useful tips for writers to find inspiration when writing.  (If you are a writer and not […]


  5. […] Rosen’s Friday Forum: Inspiration for some great links on digging into your […]


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