Help! My brain’s broken!
This can be your first thoughts when you sit down and force yourself to daydream, which seems ironic because whenever you’re busy, you daydream and yet as soon as you devote time to it…you come up blank. This seems true for most of us, including myself. You can’t force distracted-ness (though showering certainly helps me).
For those times that you can’t think or your brain’s been overworked, here’s a few ways to brainstorm ideas:
The nice part about these prompts is they’re randomly submitted by multiple users with new ones appearing many times throughout day! And, these are all free! You don’t have to be a user or sign up. You can go to the website and casually surf through different prompt postings, and if one sticks out to you, take it. If you are a reddit user, you can actually respond to the prompt and possibly get feedback. (But, feedback is open to the internet so it may be extreme in either direction: good or bad.)
2. story cubes
The plus-side to this is they’re randomly generated. You’re relying on fate to give you a prompt. And, it doesn’t necessarily give you the prompt so much as ideas to force you to make up the story. Kind of like leading a horse to water. Plus you can mix and match all these cubes. The only down side is you have to buy them, but it’s a good birthday present idea!
This is a wonderful writing resource I can’t talk about enough. They’ll give advice, facts, and many, many other things, one of those being prompts. If you find the search bar on the left-hand side of the page, search for “prompts,” multiple pages of their previous posts will come up. I find their website not to be organized in the best of manners, but it really does have some of the best resources.
It’s not stealing if you give the story your own flavor. This means all the legends and stories that have been around for generations are open for manipulation, such as how “The Little Mermaid” has been revamped many times over. The nice part about this is there are multiple cultures, multiple histories, each with their own belief system of curses, gods, legends, myths, etc. This link takes you to Wikipedia to flip through different stories, but I wanted to add Writer’s Write’s own myth-related writing prompt as proof that it works.
This one time I saw this guy walking down the street with a bouquet of flowers and a huge jug of maple syrup. It ended up being a great start for a story. Many of your conversations and experiences can work out the same way. For this to work, it might be a great idea to record your experiences through a journal, blog, or diary. I had a friend keep a list of our stupidest quotes. You never know when you might be able to use it.
Another idea that requires journals are dreams. Dreams are a great source of inspiration because it’s your brain’s random merging of experiences, imagination until it forms chaotic reasoning that may or may not make sense when you wake up. I have used these plenty of times, and I try to keep a list of my dreams as something to pull from. Fun fact: “Unaccomplished” actually originated as a dream scene. Guess which scene was the dream.