Here’s an exercise I learned in class that I feel many writers could benefit from. It works essentially like this: Make a list of all the things that you love seeing in literature. Whether it is tropes, types of characters, locations, plot points, or anything like that, make a list at least with a couple dozen items or more and keep it handy. Whenever you’re tackling flash fiction, micro-fiction, or are just missing a sparkle that your story needs, turning to this list that you’ve made is always a place to start! Write for yourself what you love, there’s nothing wrong with building off an aesthetic or trope.
Here’s my list that I’ve started, but I plan on building on it as much as I can!
Fiction about fiction, secret societies, libraries, anomalies, romance, magic, cosmic horror, eldritch gods, supernatural mystery, reckless person with a stupid plan, harsh person with a secret heart of gold, easily flustered gentle giant, owls, cats, ghosts, old books, coffee, green houses, forests, people choosing a family, stars, moons, aliens, deep water, caves, lost history, two characters pretending to date and then actually falling in love, dark academia, dysfunctional cast, dreams.