Writing Journals

The Random Ideas Generator... with Aśka

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Hi, I'm Aśka. Some people seem to always be able to come up with new ideas. How do they do that? The answer is: practice!

Imagination is like a muscle, if unused it can wither away. So the key to having lots of ideas is to exercise yours. In my years of working with creativity, I found that the best way to flex our imaginations is through unexpected challenges. Random Ideas Generator does just that.

There are many variations of this game, but there is a single underlying principle – to spur imagination into action by offering it a ‘readymade’ scenario. Because each component is randomly generated, there is no pre-planned idea. Your brain has to ‘solve a puzzle’ of how all the elements fit together and so it puts your imagination to work.

First step is to establish what is it that you need an idea for? Is it a story, a character or a plot twist?

Then you need to decide what three words (parameters) will help you shape that idea.

For example, if you’re after a story, you could start with:

           1) a name of a creature / character

           2) an adjective (a descriptive word)

           3) a place


The next step is to find these three words in a random fashion. You could ask three friends for one word each, open a book on any page and search, or pre-make three piles of words beforehand and then draw each one out of a hat.

Don’t be afraid of silly or nonsensical ideas. They can sometimes take you somewhere quite wonderful and unexpected. And if something is just not working for you, you can discard it and move on to the next combination, without having wasted too much time.

Have fun flexing those imaginations!


Thanks Aśka! Aśka is one of the brilliant contributors to the Scribblers Festival Writing Journal, which is filled with ways to help you get your story or comic started!