Where do you get ideas from when you're writing stories, either fictional or features? This week I've been challenging myself to write 20 stories for Suite101.com and I've been finding story ideas in the most unusual places.
I've recently finished an Open University course in archaeology, and I suddenly thought 'if I've spent all this time researching and reading about the history of these cities and cultures, why not put that to use?'. The result was a raft of stories on Anyang, Meroitic religion, the Aztec empire, Rome and Teotihuacán. A few years ago I studied medieval history as well, so that gave me materiel for two more articles on 14th century women.
Other ideas come from people I talk to. I recently met a man who is a volunteer 'ancient tree hunter', which made a very interesting interview. Other people I know keep tortoises, make jewellery, own sheep and recommend hydrotherapy for their dogs, so that produced another four articles.
Another article came from a survey I read on healthcare myths that pregnant women believe, which I used as a basis for a healthy eating article.
My other four recent stories came from me. I'm involved in Guiding, which is celebrating its centenary this year; I like making things and I was looking into different styles of rag rugs; I've recently started playing Star Trek Online; and I was looking for story ideas.
And in case you'd like to read any of the stories, they're here:
Keeping Track of Your Tortoise
Anyang - The Last Capital of the Shang Dynasty
Hydrotherapy for Dogs
Etiquette when Visiting Farmland
Generating Feature Story Ideas
Meroitic Beliefs and Religion
Politics and Religion in the Aztec Empire
The Expansion of Rome
British Women in the 14th Century
The Religion of Teotihuacán
Women in the 14th Century
Rob McBride - The Tree Hunter
Healthy Eating for Mums-to-be
100 Years of Guiding
How To Make a Rag Rug
A Guide To Jewellery Making
A Guide To Star Trek Online