A lot of people struggle with this. I have the drive to write, I’ve learned a bunch of writing techniques, I’ve made room in my schedule…But what should I write about? Getting a story idea is kind of important for writing a story, so I’m here to give you 5 tips for coming up with an idea!
While you never want to copy another writer, reading can be a great inspiration for completely different ideas. A single sentence can spark your own, unique ideas. I love to read when I’m not sure of what to write, and it helps 99% of the time! Even if you don’t have an “aha” moment for your plot, reading can give you an idea of what themes or topics you’d enjoy working with.
This is similar to my post on why writers need to go outside. You have to live well to write well. If you never experience anything interesting, how can you write anything interesting? Not only will having new experiences give you a better understanding and perspective of the world, it will help you write about feelings, actions, and relationships that you wouldn’t have had if you never left your house.
It’s also helpful to live a life outside your home, because this will enable you to notice issues around you that you might like to write about. Maybe you volunteer at a food shelter and notice the struggles of poverty in your city. That could inspire your theme, and drive your message. Maybe your main character goes through struggles like that, or fights to change things for the better.
#3: What Themes Are Important to You?
Think about what you’re passionate about. What is a topic you really care about? Do you love war history? Maybe you can write historical fiction based on a certain war. Are mental health issues an important aspect of your life? Maybe your character can battle with them as well.
Say you decide you want to write about people living on the moon. What sort of struggles would they have? What major things could go wrong? Who would want to improve things? Keep asking yourself questions, and eventually you’ll have a story idea!
Ever just see someone passing by and wonder about them? How they live? People-watching as a pass-time is a great way to generate ideas. Observe the people around you. That man running down the street–where is he going? Why is he running? What does he look like? Create a backstory for him, think about what might be going on in his life. Doing this can give you ideas for both a protagonist and a story!
#5: Use Prompts or Pictures
It can be helpful to just write about anything. Use a prompt and see where it takes you. Maybe you get a short story out of it, or maybe you love where it’s going so much you write a novel!
Pictures can be an awesome inspiration, too. One of my grade-school teachers used to put a random image on the board and we would write for ten minutes without pausing. I love that exercise and still use it today! Pick an image of something at random, preferably with people in it, and write.
In short, there are a lot of things you can do to come up with ideas to write about! Make sure you write about something that’s important to you, and have lots of life experiences!
What do you do to come up with ideas? Which of these tips is your favourite?
Thanks for reading! I post new content on Saturdays, so be sure to follow and stay up-to-date! 🙂 Please let me know what you think in the comments, and let me know what you want me to blog about next!
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With all of this in mind, go out and write your masterpiece!