When Ideas Just Will Not Come

What do you do when ideas just do not flow? I have always struggled with writing fiction. Whenever I was assigned to write a story in high school I would be stressed. What would I write?! Now I have ideas for stories, but I find myself struggling to give them life. I have time to think about them at work, and sometimes I do. I try to imagine how to fill the gaps, to give substance to the ideas. Some of the ideas could make some cool stories in the speculative fiction genre, but I struggle to bring them further that just ideas in a notebook.

Maybe fiction just is not my kind of writing. That is fine. Not everyone has that niche. Still, I want to do something with the ideas in my head. I want to bring them out for other people to see, but it feels like the imagination gears in my head are too rusty to move. Meanwhile, the ideas are waving at me, asking to come out.

I am asking for advice from more experienced writers. What do you do when you are completely stuck? What do you do when an idea refuses to be anything more than an idea? Feel free to share this post with writers who may have advice. I am open to learn whatever I can.

About henrywm

I am a graduate from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary with a Ph.D. in Systematic Theology. I am interested in Christian theology and church history. I also enjoy science fiction and stories which wrestle with deep questions.
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3 Responses to When Ideas Just Will Not Come

  1. Roddy says:

    What I do is go for a walk. I take a little notebook with me.
    I think about all the people I’ve met and decide which ones
    I would like to write about. But I don’t tell them!

    Writers groups always help me. I’ve never not been in a writer’s group, since I was 22.
    I get loads of ideas from creative writing websites,
    Which often give creative writing exercises to do.
    That might help you. Hope it does

    Like

  2. I have learned that it’s much better to ask focused questions and solve specific problems instead of just waiting for ideas to come. What you’re trying to do is build the best story for your idea.
    So . . . who is affected the most by the concept? Who has the power to do something about it? Who are these people? How can their situations be more dire, more dynamic? What setting would interact with the concept the most? What other characters (antagonists, sidekicks) can you add to mix it up even more? I usually cycle through these and other questions a couple of times, trying to punch it up a little each time.
    If I need fodder, I’ll pick up a newspaper or book and pluck out random ideas to see whether they contain the seed of something that might fit into the story. Elephants? Bulldozers? Superman? Even the silly stuff may point to something great.
    Good luck!

    Like

  3. henrywm says:

    Thanks for the advice.

    Like

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