Love It, List It!

You’ve probably heard the suggestion to keep a writing journal. A writing journal can be a great place to gather ideas, snippets of possible dialogue, thoughts about your own writing. One technique for gathering ideas is to use lists. Lists are excellent tools for dropping in ideas in an organized way. Some kinds of lists to include in a writing journal are:

* “Resume” lists – These include all those things you’d include on a resume. This can give you some great ideas you can use for characters or settings, for magazine articles, or blog posts. Include things like educational experiences, jobs you’ve had, personal skills, achievements, publications, awards, activities, even places you’ve lived.

* Favorites Lists – These lists can cover a wide variety of things, from your favorite foods, your favorite brands of clothes, your favorite sports teams, or even your favorite pen colors. Use these to fill out character sketches or settings, ideas for articles, or even to spark an idea for a novel.

* Annual Goals/Dreams – If you dream it, or want to accomplish it, chances are your characters or readers want some of the same things.

* Media Consumed – Keeping track of the media that’s important to you can give you indications for types of places you can query with your story ideas.

* Inspirational Items – Listing out people, places, and things you find inspiring can provide you with ideas for where to go when you need to dig deeper to find other writing ideas.

* Possibles – This is where you can write our ideas for everything from character names and settings to novel titles and good luck charms. These are lists you can mine for character and setting details, or maybe even story ideas for novels, short stories, or magazine articles.

What kind of lists would you include in your writing journal? Comment below with your ideas.

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