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Topic: Stumped For Ideas

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Subject: Stumped For Ideas
Date Posted: 10/21/2011 9:40 PM ET
Member Since: 2/6/2009
Posts: 1,411
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What do you all do when you're stumped for ideas to write about?

I've been stumped for a while now, pretty much since I graduated from college this past spring. A lot of my friends who were English majors before me said that they were burned out after college and took long breaks from writing. I didn't believe it was true but it turns out that I have been burned out. And I don't want to be because I really want to participate in NaNoWriMo (I tried in my college years but was too busy with class work; hoping I'll have more luck now with no classes to worry about).

How do you get your creative juices flowing again?

Date Posted: 10/22/2011 6:00 PM ET
Member Since: 8/29/2008
Posts: 8,672
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Last Edited on: 2/13/16 6:04 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/22/2011 6:08 PM ET
Member Since: 1/3/2010
Posts: 16,602
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I often write a letter to a friend to get myself writing. I know there aren't all that many letter writers left but it works for me. It's a bit odd that books of letters or novels written in letter format often hit the bestseller list. I'm thinking of 84 CHARING CROSS ROAD or the more recent THE GUERNSEY LITERARY AND POTATO PEEL PIE SOCIETY. Perhaps the popularity of such books stems from the lack of letters in the ordinary person's mail these days. Or perhaps it's natural to be a bit of a voyeur.

Date Posted: 10/28/2011 3:46 PM ET
Member Since: 8/14/2008
Posts: 3,574
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I read the adoption society forum on the NaNoWriMo boards. On the 'Adopt a romantic line' forum, I found my story for this year, in that one of the lines reminded me of a short story I wrote several years ago, that I thought was one of the best things I had ever written, and I decided to back up that story line by 7 or 8 years and write how the characters met and got to know one another. I make a file of things I like from the forums, and try to participate in them. 

I also try, as a kind of writing exercise, to write things for some of the threads - maybe writing a character or a room or something like that. It's a whole lot less intimadating than sriting a whole story, just writing a little floating tidbit like that.