A Quick Tip for Inspiration

Only a few minute to write today before the next thing on my To Do List must be done. Thought I would share a tip that really can spur the imagination and get the words flowing.

If you are staring at a blank page, and really have no clue what to write, go to one of the stock sites (Pixabay is free) and look through the images. Find one you like, and start telling its story. Even if the finished product has veered worlds away from the image you started with, you have the juices flowing again.

I first learned about this trick with the Ladies of Horror Flash project, where we are given a picture each month and asked to write about it.

I used it today for a flash fiction call.

Here’s an image to play with. Try it for yourself!

Collecting Horror Ideas

We’ve talked a bit about where to submit horror, and some inspirations from folklore, but horror is all around us. (Just look at the headlines…)

Keep a notebook of ideas with you at all times. Whether it is a small physical notebook; a larger spiral; or an app in your phone like Notebooks Pro or Evernote. Have sections for names–both for characters and creatures; settings–like haunted houses you might read about or abandoned asylums; and bits of plot that might occur to you.

You can add other sections as you see fit. Folklore that strikes your fancy. Photographs that inspire you. Song lyrics or poems that create an appropriate mood. Textures, like fabric swatches, that bring in a tactile element.

You never know what will create the moment you are looking for to move along the story. Write down your nightmares. Scribble bits of conversation. Always be collecting those bits of inspiration. You never know when you might need just that one little spark you found last year.

Horror is all around you. Keep your eyes open for it.