Ideas are nuggets—bits of something. Your job is to uncover the whole. Writers dig until they find answers and aren’t satisfied until they do.
Where can you get the answers to make your writing come alive? To get the story behind the story that gives your writing credibility?
Research. The internet is a gold mine of information. So are your local library, historical society, and newspaper archives. Experts abound on any and all subjects. So dig, discover, and deepen your writing with the details you unearth.
Record and store. From notebooks to voice recorders to paper napkins to the Sunday church bulletin to sticky notes to . . . the list is endless. No serious writer is without a system of recording and storing those ideas so vital to the profession.
Continue to mine ideas. Once your filing system is in place, continue to mine for ideas:
- Clip newspaper or magazine articles.
- Copy information you find online and remember to copy and paste the URL.
- Use your notebook or smart phone to list good books, television programs, or movies someone recommends. Check them out and make notes as soon as possible afterward.
- Get to know your reference and periodicals librarians. They will prove helpful when you need information quickly.
- Build a list of contacts at newspapers and radio and television stations.
- Follow groups on twitter, facebook, pinterest, tumblr and other social sites. Also subscribe for newsletters of writing organizations like Writers Digest online, Novel Rocket and so on.
Be alert every day for article and story ideas, useful and unusual information, and better ways to find materials.