Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Writing Tips You Won't Find Anywhere Else

Well, actually you will. Tracy Farr, a humor writer, shared these tips on his blog recently and graciously agreed to let us post them here. Enjoy!

What do you mean, you can't find something to write about? Aren't you looking hard enough? Aren't you paying attention? Hold on, maybe you're looking TOO hard. Maybe it's right under your nose and you can't even see it.

"You mean I should write about my mustache?"

Why not? It's there isn't it? So write about it. By the way, it needs a bit of a trim, and I think you have some spaghetti sauce stuck in it.

Ideas are everywhere. You see that UPS driver? The one who just delivered that package to your next door neighbor's house? Looks mighty suspicious to me. Looks like he's casing the joint. Looks like he's not even the regular delivery guy, but an escaped convict who highjacked the truck and is looking for easy access to a house. He'll end up terrorizing the lonely widow who lives there, who doesn't turn him in because he looks like her long-dead husband, Charlie, which really freaks out the UPS imposter-guy, who then decides to make a break for it, head to Wyoming, and start a whole new life as a sheep herder.

Terrible idea. Forget I even mentioned it.

Story ideas are everywhere. Right now, one of my cats is sitting on the arm of the couch, looking right at the TV remote control. Possible idea for a story? Maybe.

Right now, snow is melting in my backyard, messing up my septic system, making both toilets almost impossible to flush. Possible idea for a story? Why not!

Right now, my youngest son is at the local book store, waiting for his girlfriend. He drove two hours to see her. She's eating out with her parents. He wasn't invited. Possible idea? I don't know. That one may be a bit delicate.

What I'm getting at is this: Story ideas are all around you. You just have to be watching for them, waiting for them, ready to pounce on them at a moment's notice. And sometimes, when you've found your idea, and you're right in mid-pounce, writing it all down, a Brand Spanking NEW Idea will pop inside your brain, and Holy Cow -- two ideas for the price of one!

See how easy it is?

Now, go find something to write about. And don't come back until you do!

Tracy Farr lives in East Texas with his wife and children and a number of goats. You can find more of his humor at his Web site He is also a regular columnist for where Maryann Miller is the Managing Editor.

Posted by Maryann Miller, who appreciates that Tracy shares his wit and wisdom with the readers of . Visit Maryann's Web site for information about her editing services and her books. When she is not working, Maryann loves to play farmer on her little ranch in East Texas.

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  1. You're right - story ideas abound!

  2. That's when I usually get an idea, right when I'm trying to finish the first one!

    Morgan Mandel

  3. My problem is not a lack of ideas but too man. But he gives good suggestions here... thanks for posting.


  4. My problem isn't lacking sources of inspiration for writing, but actually finishing a story that I like! Too many ideas, too few of them make sense.

  5. Thanks to Tracy and Maryann for sharing this--it's great!

  6. Enjoyed your writing tips and I was really getting into the story about the UPS guy!

  7. Very funny - and so true. Ideas are everywhere. Let your mind wander. It'll come back. Maybe.

    Straight From Hel

  8. LOL, Helen. Some of the comments are funnier than the post. I hope Tracy can check in later.

  9. Thanks Maryann for letting me add my two cents worth!

  10. Of course, none of his Wyoming neighbors realize that the former-UPS guy is really a werewolf in sheepherder's clothing. But that's just an accident of genetics. Actually, he's an undercover federal agent, trying to infiltrate the subversive cult trying to pass off tainted lambchops as Grade A prime. Meanwhile, while he's trying to nab the bad guys, his rams are off gorging at the struggling soybean soybean farm owned by the gorgeous girl next door.
    Great, great stuff. Thanks, Tracy Farr!

  11. Terri, what a great story you came up with for the UPS guy. I'm sure Tracy liked to see there was an ending to his story. LOL

  12. "This is the tome that never ends/ yes it goes on and on my friends/ just when the werewolf guy came back and chased his rams away/ the chick that lived next door gave him a wink then heard him say:

    "This is the tome that never ends/ and it goes on and on.....


The Blood-Red Pencil is a blog focusing on editing and writing advice. Some of our contributors are editors, some are authors, and some are writing sheep. Yes, sheep.