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Is there some magical land where good idea fairies live and we just have to wait our turn until one visits us during the night? Like I stated above, coming up with story ideas is as easy as experiencing everyday life. Allow me to explain. When J. That small seed of an idea then continued to grow as she cultivated it and began to dig deeper to see what was there.
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But I can see the comments already. Rowling, creator of one of the best book series of all time and I am just fill in the blank. Suzanne Collins came up with the idea for Hunger Games while channel surfing. On one channel she saw people competing to win a competition on a reality show and on another channel she saw footage on the invasion of Iraq.
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The two ideas converged and through some more cultivating and digging to see what was there, came the idea for Hunger Games. Those are just a couple of instances of using everyday life to generate story ideas but the imagination when let loose can be a great idea starter. While sitting in my cubicle day in and day out, ideas for stories seem to come to me based on what I do each day.
The intrigue of these files are too much for me to handle and I open them to investigate. I see documents for money laundering and forgery that go all the way up the chain of executives. In the files are plans to carry out some federal contract with the government that will lead to selling arms to the enemy to spur a war in the Middle East.
Novel Ideas: Emilie Pine
They find out that I know their plan and they start to tear my life apart because of the information I have. And it was all based on me thinking of what I normally do each day and allowing my imagination to play the what-if game. Maybe you are a nurse who works in the ER. For example, maybe you are driving into work and you notice a speeding car is coming up on you quickly. As the car gets ahead of you it cuts you off and keeps driving. We have all had this happen to us and we all know how frustrating it is but can you see how this situation can be a story idea.
Take an afternoon an evening or some free time you can spare and read through some book covers in the genre that interests you. In the age of the Internet, reading book covers and the synopsis is easy as getting onto Amazon.
Peruse these covers and see if they jump start any seed of a story idea. This depressing media outlet can be very helpful with idea creation. Especially if there are particular stories that agitate you. Between my research into a secret sect of the CIA and an ongoing story in the news, I had more than a few ideas and plot leads for my story. On a piece of paper write down a topic that interests you.
Next, as you think about that topic add any other idea that pops into your head based on the topic as a branch off the main topic. Somewhere within your mind-map could be a line of thought that can be used for your new story idea. To use a software based mind-map, check out Free Mind. For other options, check out this post on Life Hacker.
As you have probably noticed by now I have used that a few times in creating ideas. The reason why… it works. What-if a giant shark seemed determined to hunt down swimmers off the eastern coast of the United States? What-if scientists were able to bring back dinosaurs into modern times and all hell broke loose? Jurassic Park. What-if you had to fight to the death against other people to see who will bring food and prosperity back to their community?
Coming Up With Story Ideas
Hunger Games. You get the point I am sure. You can do this with any of the aforementioned technique and it will work. So write down your ideas when you get them. Whether you think you will ever use them again, just record them. We can get more detailed and creative, like getting tattoos or skywriting, but you being the smart individual that you are will figure it out. The main point is to write it down or record it somehow. Subscribe to my mail newsletter and never miss a post.
If you are like most writers, you're committed to learning how to craft a winning story. But the truth is, with all the information available, the basic foundational story elements often get overlooked. Home About Blog. I believe I should preface this post with a small disclaimer before we jump in. To be honest … … no list could ever be exhaustive when it comes to coming up with story ideas. But I also believe they can benefit anybody else who utilizes them. And the first question we need to ask ourselves in the process of coming up with fresh story ideas is… Where Do Story Ideas Come From So where do these brilliant but elusive thoughts come from that lead to a multi-million dollar book deal and ultimately end up becoming the next big Hollywood movie?
I really hope not. I hope there is a way to help jump start the brain and the creativity process. So where do these great story ideas come from? Easy answer… everyday life. Writing a novel is no small task. Some writers spend years eking out a first draft, followed by years of revisions. So you better love it. No, wait — loving it is not enough. You have to be in love with it.
You have to be obsessed with it. Committed to it. For many writers, the trick to sticking with a novel is actually quite simple: find an idea that grips you. Before you chase every crazy idea into the ground, stop and take a breath. All your past and present obsessions hold the clues to your future commitment to your own novel.
Pay close attention to your preferences for genre, theme, setting, style, character archetypes and above all — emotional sensibility. Of course, the best novel writing ideas come out of nowhere. Your mind feels like a gaping void. Actually, story ideas are everywhere. The trick is to collect a variety of ideas, and let them stew while you decide which one is worth your effort.
Here are some quick tips for generating ideas:. Create a stash file for your ideas. You can also write all these ideas in a notebook. Just make sure you keep them together so you can easily go through them. Try to avoid doing that by letting ideas sit for a while before you dive into them. The best ideas rise to the top. These are not necessarily the bestselling ideas or the most original ideas. Those are the ones that will haunt you, keep you up at night, and provoke perpetual daydreams.
When you make a big investment, you want to feel right about it. In truth, the experimental phase is when you start writing the novel — just like the test drive is when you start driving the car. Go back to your idea stash, and start tooling around with the next one. How do you experiment with novel writing? Start by brainstorming. Sketch a few characters. Poke around and see what kind of research this novel might require.
Story Planning - How to Come Up With Story Ideas
Draft a few scenes. Write an outline. You have to fight the urge to tell everyone about how the story is coming along. You are ready to commit. Many or most of your novel writing ideas might end up in the trash or in a bottom drawer. But every one of them will be worth it when all of that idea generating, planning, and experimenting finally pays off. So no matter what, no matter how many ideas come and go, no matter how many drafts you discard, never give up. Just keep writing! Terrific post, Melissa. A novel can take years to write and to keep the stamina going it has to become real and obsessing.
These are great tips for finding a novel you can put your heart in as well as your head. Thanks so much, Roz! My last project, I loved. I do think I need to go back to my roots and figure out why I love the books I love and the movies I enjoy watching repeatedly. This may help me bring zest into an old idea. I was thinking about my own struggles and successes with ideas and was hoping I could come up with some tips to help other people identify their best ideas.
I truly believe that the stories you love most will hold clues to the story that you will love writing. Good luck to you! The idea that sticks and you are able to keep writing just as you said is the right one.