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Online Resources for Idea Inspiration

I recently took a class at Writing Pad, which offers seminars and courses for all kinds of writing in a hip pad with gourmet treats. The owner, Marilyn, generously offers free writing prompts at her blog, which is a goldmine for writers who want to practice, practice, practice but don't always know where to start or hit a spot of writer's block.

Here are a few additional online resources for idea inspiration:

Brian Stokes' Random Logline Generator: Press a button to get a quick story synopsis with characters and plot.
Wikipedia:Random: Follow the link in the left column of Wikpedia to be redirected to a random article in the human-edited encyclopedia. (My most recent visit took me to the Sture Murders, which recounts how a 16th-Century king of Sweden killed five nobles during an episode of insanity. How's that for interesting?)

Tastespotting: Food bloggers may be inspired by this "potluck" image aggregator that features attractive photos of food (food porn!) and links to their related articles. Find inspiration for a culinary essay--or for a dinner party.

Style.com Lookbooks: This site allows registered users to pull together collections of fashion images. While some lookbook images are grouped only because the creator liked all of them, some creators take care to relate the images with a strong theme... and the community allows voting, so you can quickly navigate to lookbooks that get wide approval for their quality.

These are just a few. When scouting for inspiration online, trying including words like "random" and "generator" and "idea" in your searches.

Also consider that simply changing the field within which you're searching may help; i.e., although you might think text-based ideas will be more helpful, try switching to image or video results to get a new perspective on your query. (In this case, though, drop the keyword tip above.)