Generating Unusual Ideas for Creative Writing

This resource is great for:
Taking ideas from books you know and turning them into your own unique creations.

A series of writing activities which draw on existing books to help you create new pieces of original writing.


Can you think of any books, short stories or poems you’ve read which draw inspiration from another book or story? Sometimes reusing ideas from existing pieces of writing can provide an excellent starting point for your own writing adventure! Have a think about some stories which you find inspirational and try writing a plot outline for a new book which draws upon it.

Use our activities below to help you come up with a new writing creation, drawing on existing books. Don’t be afraid to recycle stories and ideas to create brand new masterpieces!


Part One – Diary Writing

Seeing things from more than one point of view can be an exciting experiment. Try re-writing a fictional story in the format of a diary from the point of view of one of the characters, or come up with a brand new character witnessing the events taking place.

You could choose a well-known story or even a nursery rhyme to re-write. Imagine how funny it would be if the wolf could tell the story of the Three Little Pigs, or if we could find out what the evil stepmother really thought of Cinderella?

Write diary entries over the course of a week (or longer if relevant) describing events and how your character is involved in them.

Part Two – Creating Suspense

A lot of authors are happy to hear their books described as ‘pageturners’. Think about the techniques that different authors have used in books that you have read to encourage you to carry on reading – for example, cliffhangers or unanswered questions.

Following their lead, write a short story and use these techniques to create suspense. Or have a go at writing the opening chapter of a longer book, giving it a suspenseful ending to make the reader want to find out what happens next.

Part Three – Using Pictures as a Starting Point

You don’t have to use a piece of writing as your own writing inspiration. You can also use pictures. Search through a variety of magazines and newspapers for intriguing and exciting photographs. These could be images of people, places or things.  Once you have an interesting selection, write a story featuring some of the scenes in the images. Try to recreate what you see in the pictures using descriptive language. You could then ask your friends or classmates to draw pictures to accompany your words!

Further information:

Have you been inspired by this learning resource to create some fantastic, unique creative writing? We want to know how people are using the resources on our Learning Site – so we’re running a competition! You can find all of the details here: