There are many ways to go about finding ideas for your next essay and building your story.
Every story begins with an idea, however small it is. Some people have more creativity than others. These people can just have an idea, sit down to write, and develop an essay from that idea without using any creative techniques per se.
As for me, I need to know where my story is going. Being an essay writer, I need to know that I have a great idea before putting some energy into it.
Here is a list of some creative writing techniques. Try each of them out. Do not limit yourself to only one style of creative writing. By using many techniques, you increase your chances of finding interesting ideas for a whole essay faster and efficiently.
This is the classic technique that works very well when you are at the beginning stages of your book. Usually, it works best when using pen and paper, but you can do this on the computer also. Choose what inspires you the most.
Brainstorming consists of writing down your ideas on a blank piece of paper. The ideas do not need to be related, you just write down what comes to mind and you keep at it until you have no more.
Try to come up with as many ideas as possible, as quickly as you can.
Then you look at what you have written down and see if anything strikes you as interesting. Maybe a general idea will stare right at you.
If this happens, you can take that idea and do another session of brainstorming.
Some authors set a timer for brainstorming, but I do not recommend it. The best ideas can come right after the time has elapsed. If you have the time, keep brainstorming until you feel “drained” of ideas.
Then take some of these ideas, the ones that appeal to you, and ask the classic questions: Why? When? Where? Who? and How? (depending on which ones are relevant).
Write down the answers to those questions. You will be amazed at how many more ideas will come to you. You can use this method with each main character, specific plot, or scene.
Speed Writing (or freewriting)
Speed writing is an interesting technique to help you get your imagination flowing and for finding new ideas. It is also very practical for someone suffering from writer’s block.
You simply begin to write and you continue to write everything that comes to mind. You can set a timer for 5-10 minutes. Patricia M. Odell, a free essay writer, asks not to stop correcting misspellings or punctuation. The idea is to get the mind flowing as you write.
If you do not know what to write, then write exactly what you are thinking: “I do not know what to write” Just keep at it, writing exactly what comes to mind and your mind will eventually trigger on something and then ideas will come to you. Of course, most of what you write will be rubbish. But something very interesting may come out of it.
You will be amazed how this technique is efficient. The ideas that come to me when doing this technique are incredible.
Storyboarding (or index cards)
This technique requires the use of index cards or sticky notes (or just plain cut pieces of paper, whichever you prefer). The idea is to write each scene or plot on a card. You can use colors to highlight specific information, such as characters or subplots, attributing one color to a specific character or subplot.
On a big surface, such as a table, place the cards in chronological order. Then see how the story unfolds before your eyes. This technique works well since it is visual; you can easily see what is missing and know what to work on. By seeing the story right in front of you, you will have a better perspective of your story.
Take note of all the missing elements and try to work on them. With time, make new cards and place them in their right place, or change with one already in place.
You can write small comments on the front or the back of the cards as ideas come to you.
Re-enacting scenarios is a great and fun way of getting ideas and getting your story together. This technique works best when you have a general idea of what your story is about and of your main characters.
You can do this mentally, by daydreaming, or physically, by acting it out yourself (of course, you may want to do this alone at home).
Using this technique is effective in giving your character more substance and gives him a voice. I find this very useful when I start writing my essay, since my main characters are already anchored in my mind, giving them a life of their own.
About the author
Bianca J. Ward used to be a divorce coach, but now she is a professional online essay writer at EssayWriterFree where she provides people with qualitative works. Besides, she is a passionate photographer and traveler who has visited 52 countries all over the world. Bianca dreams about creating a photo exhibition to present her works to others.
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