on Writing Forward:
My little niece used to love to sit with a grown-up book spread across her lap, reading a story out loud — except she couldn’t read yet. She was making it all up — pretending.
During play, she invented new words. One time we were playing with some toys, and I asked one of their names. Without missing a beat, she made up the name Hoken. Hoken sounds to me like a great name for a character in a science-fiction or fantasy story.
Play and pretend can lead to some innovative writing ideas, whether you’re looking for a simple concept for starting a new writing project or trying to break through a block in a project that you’re already working on.