Life may imitate art far more than art imitates life, but when it comes to creative writing, life has the ability to inspire creative writing. In fact, to find ideas to write about, teen writers just have to look at and listen to the world around them. In the people, places, and objects in their environment, teens will find plenty of ideas for creative pieces.
Describing a First
First moments -- a first kiss, a first pet, a first driving lesson -- make great material for poems, short stories, and creative essays. While teens can write about first moments in their own lives, they can also think outside of the box to imagine other types of firsts. For example, if they haven't experienced a first kiss, they could write about their ideal imagined first kiss. They can also write about first moments from alternate perspectives, for example, a first kiss from the perspective of the opposite gender or a first driving lesson from the perspective of a parent.
Rewriting a Song
Artists such as Weird Al Yankovic and numerous YouTube video posters have experienced fame because of their parodies of popular songs. To get their creative juices flowing, teens can take a popular song and give it new lyrics. Some may want to start with writing creative lyrics to simple children's songs, such as "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star," while others will want to tackle the latest Billboard hit. While most song rewrites incorporate humor, teens don't have to write funny songs. Instead, they can just find inspiration in the tune.
Randomly Opening a Book
Randomly opening a book or a dictionary can provide inspiration for numerous creative writing assignments. Have teens take a textbook or a novel, open it to a random page and then close their eyes and point to a random sentence. When they open their eyes they must read the sentence and use it to start a poem or short story. For example, the line "Nothing had been taken away from any part of the house" could turn into a story about an unusual robbery or an upcoming move. For a shorter creative writing activity, they can randomly open a dictionary, point to a word, and make up a bogus definition for that word. For example, the word laciniate could be defined as "the process of removing laces from a shoe."
Writing About a Photograph
When it comes to creative writing, a picture truly is worth a thousand words. Teens can choose photographs from their own lives and write short stories, poems, or even news articles about the moments the photographs capture. They can also find random photographs in magazines, catalogs or historical documents and make up their own stories about the people in the photographs and the reasons the photos were taken.