Though I’ve never had a problem coming up with story ideas, sometimes I like to shake things up. I guess that comes from my art background. My college professor used to tell us to turn our canvas upside down while painting, just to get a different point of view and see things better. Since I haven’t figured out how to turn my writing upside down (and not sure how my keyboarding skills would improve if hanging from the ceiling) I came up with a couple of ways to stir up my imagination using my art background.
In painting, we’re taught to learn the skills of the masters by copying them. By that I mean you literally set a classic painting in front of you and paint your best version of it, trying to imitate the original the best you can. How I want to interpret this in writing is by using the science of opposites…take a classic story/book and rewrite it exactly opposite. For instance, the book starts out with “It was a dark and dreary night…” so you’d write it as “It was a bright and sunny day” or maybe “It wasn’t a dark and dreary night” and so on. This makes you really pay attention to the words and writing structure.
Another idea I am toying with is to write a story second. I mean, design the cover first, then the title (based on the cover art), THEN write the story. It would really make use of your creative abilities and push you to think from a different direction. There’s a lot of cool stock images out there online to use, and some you can even get for free.
That gave me another idea…write a story backwards. Yes, it’s exactly what it suggests. Write the ending, then write the rest of the story. The beginning hook, of course, would be the last thing you write. Some people already write like this, or at least plot their story this way. Me? I am what is called a “pantzer” which means I tend to write by the seat of my pants. I rarely know what’s going to happen before I write it.
I plan to try these all real soon, as soon as I finish my latest project this summer: I’m doing Camp NaNo, writing a novel in a month, in July. We’ll see how that goes.