3 Creative Writing Ideas from Neat Historical Stuff

Posted on: by Michael Tringe

How many times have you racked your head for that next story idea you want to write about – and are tired of the same old stuff you read to get inspiration? You are not alone in your hunt for new creative writing ideas – but you will be very alone when you start writing – so here are some fun new ones!

old postcards


1. Old postcards are awesome for new creative writing ideas. I was recently bumming around an antique shop, and while the rest of the crew was trying on stuff – I gravitated towards the collection of old postcards. When I pulled some out, I was delighted to see some had been actually sent with messages on them. Old postcards are awesome for creative writing ideas because they come with three of the most important things you’re ever going to need to start with. People, place, and a story – not to mention some pretty cryptic dialogue that can be the seed of a great mystery or plot. I mean listen to this dialogue “”Many Happy returns of the day is the wish of all” Lorena Bert & Babys – From the Kids in Cal”


old life magazines

2. Old magazines are my number two for fresh creative writing ideas. My grandpa had a collection of old Life Magazines – and wow, I could spend the entire day just reading through a few or staring at the covers. If you really want to get a sense of different time and place, just open up one of these issues and discover stories you thought were long gone. Some of the pictures alone conjure up great story ideas, characters, or scenes.


old 7up ad

3. Old ads are awesome for inspired creative writing ideas. I just can’t get enough reading slogans from old ads that inspire stories, scenarios, parodies, and all kinds of new creative writing ideas. 7Ups’ old ad features a slogan “Here’s the greatest for 10:15AM” – I mean you really can’t make this stuff up. If you wanted to do any kind of riff on a product – these retro-riffic zingers are a great starting point.

So take a look through your local antique store and see if it inspires any new creative writing ideas – or take a stroll through your local museum, and you might just discover a treasure trove that sparks your imagination.

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Written by Michael Tringe

Mike Tringe earned his MFA in Film Production from USC and has worked at Creative Artists Agency Film Sales (Paranormal Activity, Black Swan), Vuguru, Michael Eisner's multi-platform studio, (The Booth at the End (Hulu), Don't Ask, Don't Tell (Snag), Little Women Big Cars (AOL), and Blip Networks (300 million monthly views, Smosh, Annoying Orange, Nostalgia Critic).

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