"I can't think of anything to write about." 
How often have you said that - and believed it? Yet everything that happens to us in our everyday life can be used as the starting point of a story. All it takes is a little imagination. Everyone has an imagination but sometimes we forget to use it. Think of your imagination as a muscle - it needs regular workouts to develop it and make it stronger. The more you use it, the better it will get.
    Some ideas have been used time and again. How many stories have you read about ghosts and haunted houses, dragons, time machines, outer space, solving mysteries and finding hidden treasure? You can recycle these ideas and use them too. Try to make your story different in some way.
    Approach if from a new or unexpected angle. Write your outer space story as if you are the alien. What would an alien do if an earthling suddenly arrived on its planet?
    Make your characters different. Your ghost might be frightened of people. I gave my dragon an appetite for crossword puzzles and frozen peas and had it arrive from Jupiter on a seven-day tour to complicate life for a 10-year-old boy. What can you do with yours?
    It's completely up to you. Taking a new look at an old idea can lead to an interesting story.
    If you're really convinced you can't come up with any ideas you can still write stories. Write about yourself. You have a unique viewpoint on life. No one else will see things in quite the way you do or have identical experiences. How do you feel? What do you think? What has been happening to you up to today?
    Have you ever been lost? Have you been on an interesting holiday or appeared on TV? What is the funniest thing that has ever happened to you? The most terrifying? The saddest? Share your experience by writing it down.
    Everyone has a story to tell. What you write about is not as important as how you write about it.

 


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    I'm the author of eight books for children and many of my poems and short stories have been published in magazines, newspapers and anthologies. One of the things I enjoy most about being an author is visiting schools and libraries to talk to kids about writing and encourage them to have a go themselves.

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