Maureen Kauzlarich

Children's Author

How to Become an Idea Factory

Coming up with creative ideas can be tough. If only there were ways to trigger idea after idea after idea, like the turnover rate in a factory. Although everybody has different strategies, here are some to get you started. 

Word Associations
Link words to ideas. An example of this in writing is jotting down a title before the story. Whenever you see this title on your list of title ideas you know what story is associated with it. Coming up with a bunch of adjectives for a noun is another way to associate words. It can help focus your idea and your writing.
Sometimes it's hard to describe an idea in words and it needs to be drawn out. You don't have to be an artist, but you alone should be able to tell what the picture is describing. One drawing can lead to another and before you know it you've got panels of artwork with loads of ideas. Now it's easier to write it out.
Write it down anyway
Ever wanted to write down a sentence that felt awkward and you didn't want to write it down anymore? Write it down anyway. You may or may not use or tweak this idea later, but the thing about one sentence is that it can trigger another. One idea can roll out more. No matter how much your mind fights to not write something down, write it anyway. 
Random Connections
Think of every word that is associated with your idea or image. Now think of that word's antonym. Put these two words together and try to come up with something related, like idea and factory. Factories make things in quantity and we want many ideas. The idea factory can be an example of two unrelated things coming together to form a new concept.
Wishful Thinking
Some ideas seem far-fetched, but what if you dared to ask what if? By letting your mind be open to the possibility of an idea, you are opening yourself to more ideas. Pretend as if all your wishes will come true. All you have to do is think about it. 
Embody your ideas by imagining you're the characters achieving them. This is a tangible way to see your ideas come to life. They are being used and acted out through the characters in your story, so why not be that character for a while?
These are some starters for becoming an "idea factory." Hopefully, it sparked more ideas of your own. ; ]

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