7 ways to come up with story ideas:
- Your local, country, or world newspaper
- Song lyrics
- Reinvent a scene from a book
- Know your history and set your romance, thriller, etc, with a post era theme
- Eavesdrop on a conversation
- Learn how to ask yourself, what if?
- Visit Reddit at r/showerthoughts
As all writers know, thinking of an amazing, abstract idea doesn’t mean we have a story ready to write without a lot of hard thinking.
When you have a spark of an idea, immediately add more to it.
Write down everything that branches out from the one idea. You will be amazed with the amount of things you can come up with.
Interview your story. Asking questions gives answers, which gives more ideas, which helps complete a story.
Do your research and know your stuff.
Make Google your best friend, and let it walk you through settings, street names, origins, ethinics, places, hobbies, jobs, and everything that will be needed for your story and characters.
Who will be involved? You’ll need a proteganist, and antagonist. Friends, family, the bully, the bakery assistant, the next door neighbour and her cat.
Fill your sandbox with sand and create a mountain before sculpting a sandcastle.
Expect your story to evolve to something completely different.
My novel, The Time Thief, started out as an idea about a young man who lived on an island inhabited by people with special powers. For every person with a unique gift, there is one other with the exact opposite. For example, my protagonist had the gift of fast forwarding time. Therefore, there is someone who has the gift of rewinding time. In my story my protagonist’s motive was to find this person who held his opposite gift. The obstacle? This said person didn’t live on the island, but across the ocean in Manhattan. There’s a lot more to the story, but I couln’t decide if I could get away with writing this for young adults. It sounded more like a children’s book, so it soon evolved into another story. A young autistic boy with the ability to write captivating novels, wrote the book I had just described. Meanwhile, the events from the book began to happen in his reality, only no one had special powers. It was a book within a book. This again evolved into something else, again and again until there was nothing of the original content left except the characters, who by this time I had come to adore, and couldn’t say goodbye to. It is now a novel about a young woman named Sage, and her older brother who is mentally unstable.