I have enjoyed writing since I was a little girl. It started out with picture books, and I thought that’s all I’d ever write.
Fast forward several years, and I joined a writing group in 2010. We would do writing exercises for each meeting to learn things like description and detail. Sometimes we would write about a photograph, and other times we’d have writing prompts. The one I remember most was “The Worst Day Ever.” I remember thinking it would be fun to write about someone who had never had a bad day.
I got good feedback from that story, but I didn’t think I could do anything with it. After all, I wrote picture books with five hundred words or less. But the story wouldn’t leave my mind. It stuck, and bugged me for months. I would push it away because there was no way I could write it … right?
Well, that short story is now three books and a novella—with another book coming.
When I’d finished book one, I was worried I wouldn’t have any other story ideas. You can see I had a lot of faith in myself. But my brain laughed. It was like a floodgate had opened. At the moment, I have six books screaming at me to be written.
So how do we find a story idea? That’s an easy, yet tricky question. Every writer you ask will have a different way of finding ideas. I took a poll last year, and the majority of authors I asked said they get their book ideas from dreams.
Think about your dreams. Are there any that stick out to you? What about recurring dreams? I wrote Endless, which was based on a recurring dream I’d had since I was a little girl. I got to write my own ending, and I haven’t had the dream since!
Story prompts are also a great place to go. I write one hundred word prompts every week with a group of friends, and I have come up with a few book ideas from those. You can get some fun first line prompts here.
Real life can be stranger than fiction. Pull ideas from the news. Not word for word, of course. But play the what if game. What if the police didn’t catch the bad guy? What if the innocent cold that spread through the country was actually a plague of some sort? I love the what if game. You can get some awesome twists that way.
The world is full of awesome story ideas. Look at it closer. And if you ever have an idea pecking at your brain, do something with it! Don’t let it go, or you’ll regret it later. Even if the story doesn’t pan out, you kept the wheels turning.
Good luck with all your writing ventures.