Brainstorming writing ideas

Think of brainstorming as putting energy into exploring ideas. Illustration:


One of the toughest things for a new writer is generating story ideas. Often they do not know what to write about and brainstorming a new story idea can be quite overwhelming.

However, in feature writing just about anything can be a topic that can interest an audience. Unlike hard news stories, which are unbiased, and often short, feature stories are typically longer and more expressive. Feature stories are often just called features and are commonly a human-interest story.

READ: Intro to features and longer stories


1. Brainstorm ideas for a short feature/human interest story on a topic of your choice.

READ: There are many, many different techniques for generating ideas – like the Worst Possible Idea. Or Scamper.

Here’s quite a long list of possible techniques. And another one. And another one.

It doesn’t really matter which technique you settle on, so long as you’re generating lots of ideas. Experiment with your ideas, and try stuff out. Make multiple drafts and critically analyse them. Ask yourself: what works? And what doesn’t?  And remember no piece of work is perfect but most have merit, and most can be improved upon.

2. Write an outline for your story.

READ: Finding the pieces: working out what you need to know

3. Research and write your feature story – a human interest story on a topic of your choice.

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