Twenty Prompts for Writers of Children's Books
Some ideas to spark your imagination
As a writer, I’m often asked where I get my ideas from and, honestly, I don’t know half the time. They just pop into my head at the weirdest of times and stay there until I do something with them.
I usually find I make up things best when I’m bored. Unfortunately, this doesn’t happen too often these days (busy working mum and all that). However, I’ve recently gone back to it. I actually make time for thinking and it’s the best thing I’ve ever done. It means I am making time to formulate loose ideas for stories for both my children’s novels and my books for adults.
When ideas come this is what I do. If I don’t use them initially, I note them down in a little black notebook for a later date. I have lots of little notebooks scattered all over my house full of thoughts, some I’ve used, some I’ve yet to use. It means I am never ever stuck for a story.
Anyway, for those of you who are stuck for ideas for stories and want a little prompt, I’ve jotted down twenty ideas for you to develop into stories. You can use them as first lines or as inspiration.
1. My mother is an alien.
2. The man next door collects snails as a hobby.
3. The girl was a princess in disguise.
4. My granny is a ninja.
5. I have a pet tiger called Tiddles.
6. My name is Amazonia Tweedle Yumpkin and I’m a goblin queen.
7. Honestly, my cousin is a monster.
8. I’m sure my uncle is a jewel thief.
9. My toys come alive at night.
10. Our house is alive and tries to eat the postman every time he calls.
11. My Australian pen pal mailed me a koala. I call him Bob.
12. When I was little, I was enchanted by the fairies. Now I can’t tell a lie.
13. The twins were really witches and would do funny spells in the classroom when the teacher’s back was turned.
14. My best friend is an alien bounty hunter.
15. The girl hid in the smelly dustbin. It’s not easy being a spy, she thought.
16. The monster trotted out of his lair and made his way towards the boy intending to have him for dinner.
17. A princess rode her dragon to the party.
18. The snail gobbled up the pizza. It was amazing.
19. I love flying, it makes me come alive.
20. The fairy read the treasure map whilst sitting on a unicorn.
And if you’re finding yourself getting stuck for formulating your own ideas, here’s my best tip: go out, go for a coffee, people watch, observe the names of streets (they are often excellent sparks for names of characters) and car numberplates (can you make a person’s or a place name from the numberplate?), ask yourself “what if?”.
What if that man over there was an alien? Why is he here and what is he going to do? Who will stop him?
What if that van was actually being driven by an ogre disguised as a human? Where is he going and why?
What if that castle I saw a picture of in a magazine was haunted? Who by and why are they dead? Does whomever go through a certain arch go back in time to when the castle was still occupied? What era and what’s happening?
What if that child there isn’t actually the son of that woman, but was kidnapped? Who is she and why was she kidnapped?
See, there are lots of ways to inspire a story, you just have to relax, let yourself get into a dreamy state and start musing. Good luck!
D A Nelson - Thrilling fiction for adventure romance fans (danelsonauthor.com)