There’s one question writers tend to get asked universally: Where do your story ideas come from?
There’s no one response to this question. There’s no correct answer that will help those searching for inspiration find it.
Ideas can flow from anywhere. Many times they simply materialize out of the writer’s head. But there are some ways you can spark or jog ideas into something greater:
- Daydreams or nighttime dreams. If you remember what you dreamed about, you can often find inspiration. You just have to notice the details and pay attention to what can be used and what can’t.
- People, places, images. You could be sitting at the beach and notice a girl running along the sand. Something about her starts your mind churning. You could be visiting an ancient castle, once great but now in ruins. You could see an old woman, sitting at a kitchen table, holding a stack of half burned letters in her hands.
- Disagreements. Is there something you don’t agree with in the novels you read? How about in TV series? Is there something you believe is missing in these novels and TV shows?
- Ask yourself “What if…” type questions. What if you woke up and found yourself in a forest, naked? I wonder what is behind that locked door. If only I could step into the trunk of a tree and find myself in another world.
- Experiences and emotions. Are there any experiences you’ve had or someone you know has had that stuck with you? Are there certain emotions or a combination of emotions you want to explore?
Ideas can sprout from anything and any moment. Finding ideas isn’t the hard part. The challenge is figuring out which ideas are worth pursuing, and then giving those ideas form on paper, fleshing them out enough to create an engaging and believable story.
Where do you get your ideas?