Idea drawers and baskets
An old story elf has many little drawers in his hat. These drawers magically appear when he takes his writing quill in hand and opens his journal to write.
The drawers are full of story ideas and small elves scurry up and down the hat to locate just the right story idea for where the elf is in his story. It could be a description detail, a character detail or a plot idea that is fished out from one drawer or another. The drawers are full of all kinds of ideas and details that the old elf has been collecting for years.
A story elf’s hat grows over time. The more he writes, the taller his hat gets, and the more drawers there are for saving story ideas. Every day, ideas are added to the drawers, often without the elf even knowing it.
This collection begins when elves are young. Out for a walk in the forest, a young elf notices that, in the Spring, evergreen tree branches have bright green tips where the branches are growing from the Spring rains.
The young story elf skips by, barely noticing this descriptive detail about evergreen trees, but a small elf takes a clipping and puts it in the big elf’s basket. (As a big elf grows older, his basket becomes a hat with drawers.)
Even if an elf writes an epic tale that empties out every idea he has saved up in every drawer in his hat, the drawers will quickly begin refilling, very automatically, for his next epic tale.
New idea: Do not be afraid to use your ideas, even to use all of them, in one story! More ideas will surely come and fill the basket (or drawers, depending on age) you have on your head.
This tip is dedicated to Ezra and Carl.