Where can you find great story writing ideas for your content?
By “story ideas,” I mean any idea that you can develop as a full-length feature or that you can use as an illustration or example in articles, blog posts, web pages, appeal letters, sales letters, email campaigns, sermons – event grant applications.
Story writing ideas are everywhere … in anything that grabs your attention.
Where can you find those luscious little snippets? These are my favorite sources.
Trends, press releases, town meetings, athletics – news is breaking all the time. The internet allows you to look beyond the headlines to find interesting stories to use in your content and copywriting.
Are you a nonprofit or ministry? Keep careful tabs on how your work impacts those you serve. Share their stories in your newsletter, appeal letters, on your website, and in case studies. I’ve even used beneficiary stories in grant applications as an example of the agency’s impact.
Friends, family, and their antics provide illustrations ranging from every day, solid examples to wacky, interesting tidbits.
Quotes and experiences from people in the past are one of my favorite ways to make a point, offer comparison, or draw a contrast.
When you’re interviewing a subject to write Story A, take good notes and ask good questions. You can use the ideas you get from the interview to spin off a different slant for Story B or use a snippet as a quick illustration in an article, blog post, or other project.
Look at what the numbers tell you. Behind the numbers is a story.
They’re excellent examples of popular culture.
Cinaphiles and bibliophiles: use scenes and characters as examples. (Here’s how I used a scene from a movie to explain how to write an elevator speech.)
Fun facts about animals, plants, weather, and minerals can spark illustration ideas and even full-length feature articles.
You don’t need to geek out and read every word. Instead, review academic journals and research as a springboard to create general interest anecdotes or full-length stories.
New products, services, trends: the trades are packed with story writing ideas that you can quote or expand upon to use as an illustration or example. Or rework and expand an idea into a longer piece for a general audience.
Right now, grab a notepad or open a new document or jump over to your note-taking app and write down the gist of a good story and its details. (You do have a method for collecting writing ideas, don’t you?)
More Story Writing Ideas and Tips
Award-winning content writer and author Kathy Widenhouse specializes in writing for nonprofits and faith-based organizations.
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