How to make up stories like a child

How to make up stories like a child

Recently, I listened to a few TEDtalks and in the process got a lot of ideas for blog posts. It’s really funny how inspired I get from other people’s stories. Anyway, this woman was talking about how she worked with kids to get them to write stories and she had me remembering when I was a kid and how making up stories was just the most natural thing. I wish I could remember the things I invented back then. I would likely be a billionaire. Wonder if I dreamed up the same stuff that Steve Jobs did? Too bad, now, huh?

I spent a lot of time inside my own head, let’s say.

So, because I always do this, I am sharing what I learned through her discussion and my subsequent trip down memory lane. You should be writing down your ideas ALL THE TIME. Don’t miss out on a possibility EVER.

Here are my best tips on how to imagine like a child

Tip #1 – Get away from home – this is sort of simple, really, but it’s totally important. When I was a kid, I made up more stories looking out of a school bus window than you can shake a stick at. I spent ALL the time on the bus imagining things. Now, as adults, we just need to tweak that a little. We don’t have to be on a bus-just a passenger in a car will do. Let someone else do the driving and you stare out at the landscape passing by and IMAGINE.

Tip #2 – Listen to music and try to make sense of the story inside it. I cannot tell you how many times I have dived into a song and only heard the “music” and never considered what the words were. What a waste! So, if you do that too, be sure to dive into the story of the song. Find out what the crooner is singing about and make up a story from it!

Tip #3 – Write real life from your own pages. This could be turning something in your own personal journal into a fictionalized account, or it could be a true story. Ripped from the pages, as it were. Everyone writes from that place of personal experience at one time or another, so don’t worry.

Tip #4 – Take a list of unrelated items and make a story out of them. I have a group on Facebook called Writing Motivators and what we do each week or so is take a list of random items and put them into a story. Gosh, that reminds me, I have not done that this week!

So, you can imagine from all these items. That’s what kids do. They make up stories on the bus. They make up stories from snippets of songs. They write about stuff that actually happens to them, and they string together tales using wild and crazy “stuff”.

Why don’t you try it and let me know how it goes?

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About master

Kim Smith is the author of Disk of Death, The Dread Room, Love Inn, and An Unexpected Performance.

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