How to Decide What to Write About, and then Write It

Ever get that feeling that you want to share some writings with your friends, family, or the world, but just don't know what to write about, or even where to start? Well, read on, this article is for you!


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    Embrace that gut feeling. The whole process of writing starts with a feeling. Do you have a feeling for something, or perhaps about something that excites you? That's great if you do, and if not, that's okay, keep reading. If you do have such feelings, use it to your advantage, writing with feeling is better than writing without it.
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    Have an idea of what you want to write about. Perhaps you want bizarre characters with a mild plot, or perhaps more laid-back characters with perhaps an exciting plot that ignites the climax (high point in the middle or end of the story). For example, maybe you want to have a story about an average family, but in a futuristic steampunk setting, or a story about an eccentric character in a more mild, suburban neighborhood. Perhaps you long to write guides, recipes, poetry, a CV, a review, your autobiography, a news report or anything else?
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    Develop your characters if you are writing a story. The girl with perfect manners and a sensitive heart. The love-driven boy doing anything to impress the girl of his dreams. We've all read about these sort of characters- doing in multiple books. Don't be afraid to give your characters personality! Sometimes it just seems that the boys in novels are often the ones with the most personality, while the girls have a small sense of humor and get hurt or angry easily, or the boys may have too much personality, and this can cause inconsistency in the development of the novel. Avoid the obvious, stereotypical, over used personalities, we're all tired of them!
    • Put yourself in the characters, if you are writing a story - your good traits and your bad ones- remember, everyone, including those in literature, have their flaws.
    • Perhaps base some characters friends or family, sometimes if you do this, it can help a little bit when trying to encompass a certain trait in writing.
    • Imagine what your characters look like, once again, it is suggested you avoid stereotypes here, too. Don't make goth characters mean or depressed, don't make the good-looking popular kids all mean, and remember, we all vary in appearance!! Not everyone can have perfect blond hair, or a perfect body!
    • Most of the time, a character's personality is revealed through dialog, be consistent in what you have them say to others (ex. If they're often a little sarcastic and funny, don't have them change to serious and stubborn unless there is a reason for them to do so.)
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    Make your writing interesting. If you have astounding characters, don't make the story boring. There must be some sort of conflict within your story. As much as it would be wonderful to say that we all enjoy happy stories about an easy-going family leading a perfect life, that doesn't work. Dialogue is often an interesting way to create interest in your readers- characters can argue, flirt, and so on and so forth. When the narrator (which may be a character, or simply just you, narrating a story in third-person) is discussing something, do not get off topic, because that can be confusing.
    • Your writing begins with the first line, if that wasn't obvious enough. Try to grab your readers' attention. For example: "It was a rainy night. Caroline lit a candle for light. She was scared." (Great. It was raining. Caroline has the ability to use a lighter but no electricity. We might assume she's scared of the dark.). "I lit the candle on my bedside table. The rain outside pounded hard on my window. I pulled the covers up to my neck, I was scared as it was already, because of the nightmares I got on nights like this." The second example proves to be more interesting, it makes us wonder why Caroline was scared, or perhaps we feel some more empathy for her, too. Maybe we even get the chills imagining her situation. The first example can let us infer that perhaps she was only scared of the dark. Though some of us were interested, it really doesn't compare to the second example.
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    Try not to let your readers infer in your writing. Let them know who the characters are, if applicable. You've probably heard of "Show don't tell," and this rule applies here nicely. Don't flat out describe a character, but 'sneak' it into the story. The appearance can come in throughout the story. Example: "I brushed my dark hair out of my eyes, no matter what, my hair was always in my face despite my attempts to pin it back." See, now we are aware the character has dark hair without saying: "I have really dark hair that hangs in my face." Or perhaps: "Art's eyes always changed color depending on what he was wearing, today they were the stormy blue like his sweater. However, the look in them told me that today, he meant business." This could be a better description of someone who has hazel eyes.
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    Let things fall into place. Suppose you have a great idea for a character, but not a clue as to what to write about. Well, look around. Your life and surroundings are rapidly changing, so all you need to do is pay attention. Perhaps sit in a park and people watch (just don't be creepy), what do they look like they may be talking about? Let your imagination be a little overactive. Maybe keep a notebook with you, when you get an idea just jot it down! Though you may not use all of your ideas, it can never hurt to have them written down (just make sure if you're writing an idea while walking that you don't walk into people and trip them).
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    Persevere. Hopefully you have an idea at this point or will soon. If you get bored with writing, put down the notebook/laptop, and take a break. Come back later and write more.


  • Record dreams in a notebook. You never know what sort of stuff you can pick out of these things.
  • Listen to inspirational or dramatic music. You can see a whole story unfolding in your head!
  • Perhaps ask a friend to encourage you- friends can be a huge help when it comes to support.

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Categories: Writing