All writing usually starts with a creative idea. It could strike you at any moment, be it on the bus on your way to work, upon waking from a dream in the middle of the night, or even when you’re, ahem, daydreaming in the midst of the working day.
Ideas feel exciting and inspiring. We furiously write them down, full of the adrenaline that comes with the feeling that we might be onto something good.
However, when it comes to turning those ideas into a reality, i.e. an actual piece of writing suddenly all the excitement and adrenaline can come to a grinding and starling halt. For it is not as easy as simply freely writing whatever comes next into your head. To craft a good piece of writing your idea needs to be explored, developed, even tamed to make it work.
Of course turning creative ideas into a reality is difficult, after all, if it were easy then everyone would be doing it! That’s what sets writers apart - their ability to understand what is required of them to turn those ideas into something more.
So what can you do to turn your creative ideas into realities? Let's take a look.
Once you have had that initial flicker or lightning bolt of an idea, you need to brainstorm around it. This can be a good way of trying to keep that creative spark going without imposing too many rules on yourself at first. Get everything out and then step back and look at what you have got to work with.
Craft and shape
Now you need to craft and shape your idea, group words and phrases together, ask questions about your characters, pick out themes and start to develop your plot. Create a skeleton outline of what your story will look like - does it work, does it make sense? This is where you’ll find out if your idea can actually make it.
Sell your vision
A writer is a salesperson, and if they don’t believe in themselves, and aren’t able to sell their work and ideas, then all could be lost. Imagine you are pitching your idea to an agent or editor - you should be able to describe it succinctly while delivering the biggest impact possible.
Understand that it will take time
Being patient is so important. Just because you have that eureka moment it doesn’t necessarily mean your book will come to you in one great outpouring of creativity. Take your time, figure out what works and what doesn't, and be patient and willing to spend time developing your story.
Get a second opinion - and a third
Sometimes we can become so invested in our ideas it’s hard to find solutions when we hit obstacles along the way. Getting outside opinions or having someone look at your work with a fresh set of eyes and offer you their thoughts, can be extremely useful. So don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Change is OK
Some ideas will turn out completely different to how they started - and that’s OK. It’s all part of the creative process. It may be that as you write your initial idea almost becomes defunct. But if that happens just go with what your instincts are telling you, don’t keep trying to turn your writing back to link to the original idea if you have to force it somehow.
Learn to let some ideas go
Unfortunately not all ideas, however great they first may seem, have the legs to turn into fantastic stories. Learning when to let an idea go and go back to the drawing board is so important and will stop you wasting your time.
Coming up with new ideas is one of the most exciting parts of being a writer, and watching them develop and grow can be so rewarding. Follow the above tips to turn your creative ideas into actual, real pieces of writing and see where your work takes you!
Many I have times thought of ideas to write about but have failed to get them down. I'm now trying to get out of that habit. It has taken me a while to get down the idea I had for the diary novel I have been working on. I've added more to that one since yesterday.
I think the dream idea is a good one, but it gets hard to remember most dreams. I bet most of you feel that way, too. I did write down one dream I had that seems to have the making of a fantasy novel. Click to read.
BTW, I decided not to take the advanced memoir writing class after getting an email from the instructor. She thought that since I'd already written a book-length memoir that the class might not be good fit. Instead, she offered to take a look at my manuscript to offer critiques. I decided that this was a better idea.
I'm now looking for more community college classes on writing. Most of them are online, including one on writing for kids. I think I may want to do that one. Each of these classes is six weeks each.