If you need to create content regularly, whether it’s for fiction or nonfiction books; for blogging; or for your clients; you need a constant supply of ideas. And not just any ideas either, those ideas must be right for you.
Ideas which are right for you will spark your creativity; they may not necessarily be “original.”
Create content: should you strive to be original?
Ideas are everywhere. But if you’re a new writer, you worry about freshness, and originality. You need NEW ideas, don’t you?
Well… Completely “new” ideas may not be possible, nor even desirable. No one knows everything, so an idea may be new to you, but stale or derivative.
In commercial fiction, new ideas which flout genre conventions aren’t desirable at all. You need to be aware of genre conventions; every genre has them. When you step outside those conventions readers not only won’t buy your novel, you’ll also get nasty comments in reviews.
For example, recently an author asked me why her romance novel isn’t selling. She was outraged: “my beta readers love it!” Unfortunately, no beta reader told her that romance readers hate cheating heroines; they want escapism—that’s what they’re paying for.
When I suggested she rewrite, she said she’d wanted her romance to be “original”… Her experience proves that sometimes our version of original can be dangerous.
With that said, let’s look at some weird ways of getting ideas—the right ideas for you.
1. Create content for fiction: idea generators
Who knew that idea generators for fiction were a thing? I didn’t, but there are many of them.
Try a couple. You may come up with an idea which is fresh and new (for you), and which sparks your creativity.
BTW, I haven’t used any of these, so I couldn’t comment or provide a link. Search the web for “idea generators fiction.”
2. Create content for nonfiction: history
History “day and year” sites are often useful:
How might you use this information? The highlight of this day, July 19, in history is that this is the day the Rosetta Stone was found in 1799:
…during Napoleon Bonaparte’s Egyptian campaign, a French soldier discovers a black basalt slab inscribed with ancient writing near the town of Rosetta, about 35 miles east of Alexandria.
So, if you’re writing nonfiction, you could develop any number of ideas from this. Try some free association; you’re bound to uncover some unusual ideas and connections.
3. Keyword content for blogging: inspiration
Keywords are endlessly fascinating. When you’re using them to get ideas for blogging, they’re helpful, because each keyword can develop many ideas.
This article, 12 keyword research tools and creative ways to use them, offers inspiration.
When you create content, all ideas are valuable, even if you never use any of the ideas you find
Here’s why. Searching, brainstorming, and association stimulate your creative self. So, when I research, I’m much more interested in the process than in instant results to help me to create content. I want to kick my dormant creative self into action.
Try the tips. You’ll discover that after research and a little tinkering, you’ll easily generate excellent ideas to create any kind of content you choose. Have fun. 🙂
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Copywriter and marketing pro Angela Booth maintains a busy copywriting and ghostwriting practice. Fascinated by online marketing, she wrote one of the first business books for internet marketing, published by Allen & Unwin. She’s been an enthusiastic blogger since the late 1990s.