Often writing teachers speak more in theoretical than practical terms when advising writing students to get creative. In our defense, we do not want to both lead the horse to water and then pour the water down the horse's throat. We hope to give students an opportunity to discover ideas on their own.
For those who demand specific, workable suggestions on how to get started, there's always the tip sheet "Beginning a Piece of Writing" from the NCTE. While some of the 10 tips are specific to fiction writers, others are useful to proposal or report writers. Among them are to get started with:
- a shocking or interesting fact
- intentional fragments or repetition
- a question
- the problem
- a quote from another source