MUSED
BellaOnline Literary Review
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Story Ideas and Brainstorming

When a reader invests their time to start reading, they want to be rewarded with an experience where they learn something new and are shown a world they didn't previously know about. Motivational posters are cute, but they are only a foundation for the full non-fiction story. We are looking for a robust, full journey. If the entry only has six lines and says "Fall is lovely. Leaves fall and land on the ground. The End." - that is not an immersive experience that our readers feel is worth opening a browser page to read.

We want to see fall through your eyes! The experience of fall in Seattle, Washington is far different than the experience of fall in the mountains of Vermont. Share with us your particular vision, and let us enjoy the details that make your experience unique!

Here are just a few ideas to help you brainstorm about non-fiction stories to share with us.

Childhood
We were all children once. By sharing a tale from your childhood, you help us to transport to another time and another location. Your experiences growing up in rural Texas in the 1960s might seem "normal" to you - but to a young girl in 2011 in New York City the story might be full of magic and wonder. Help others learn more about what it was like to grow up in a different environment.
Thirteen - simple pleasures of the 1970s

Transitioning from Child to Adult
It has never been easy to make the transition from being a child to being an adult, and sometimes the challenges faced are quite extreme. We all make mistakes along the way and we all learn lessons that we value.
The Composition of a Lie - teen peer pressure

Adult Life
Being an adult is certainly full of ups and downs. There are break-ups and divorces, illnesses that test our endurance, and injuries which change our lives in a split second. Relationships can span decades and be full of complexity.
That August Night - recovering from a car crash
The Pieces of a Life - moving through a divorce

Aging
Modern society can often see aging as a negative process. We lose our strength and flexibility. We are beset with a host of illnesses. We are discarded and treated as archaic. However, aging is also a time of maturity and spiritual growth.
Biker Lady - Road biking at 59

Loss and Death
The circle of life is an inevitable part of our world. Loved ones who are born will inevitably pass away at some point. Learning more about how others handle this process can help prepare us for the losses we will face.
Cold Whispers - watching a loved one pass away
An Unnoticed Death - a neighbor dies alone
Learning to Die - a child loses a loved pet

Culture
Readers are always fascinated to learn sometimes about a time or place they have never been to. Whether it's learning about living in a decade before they were born, or virtually experiencing life in a far-off world, our readers crave to hear from soneone who lived in that environment.
My Summer of '72 - young adults on a political mission
My Trip to Iran
Wedding in Sur, South Lebanon

Traveling
While cultural stories give us insight into a location from an insider's point of view, where everything seems normal and natural to them, a traveler's story focuses on the aspects that are new and different. A traveler will comment on something that a native takes for granted.
The Love of Ghana

These are simply a few examples of stories that draw a reader in and transport them to another place. We would love to hear your story ideas!

Non-Fiction Submission Information
Non-Fiction Submission Guidelines
Adding Details to Your Story
Bringing Emotions to Your Story
Story Ideas and Brainstorming
Writing About an Interesting Person
Proofreading your Submission
Word Count Information
Non-Fiction Submission Form

General Mused Submission FAQs
Main Submission Guidelines




By far the best way to get an idea of what our literary review is looking for is to peruse our past issues!

Archive of Past Issues