Where do Story Ideas Come From?

You’ve written a lovely story. You’ve edited said story. You’ve even submitted said story (and hopefully, it found a lovely home). Now what? Now you get to write a new story, but where do new story ideas come from?

The problem is that blinking cursor isn’t giving you any ideas. So you close your computer, and you pull out the book you’ve been reading. But you soon discover that that isn’t giving you any ideas either. Next you pull up the show that you keep binge watching way too late into the night, but that isn’t giving you any ideas either. Now what?

Here are some places that I go to when I’m low on inspiration.

  1. Writing prompts. I know that there are a lot of writes that hate writing prompts and occasionally I can be one of them. But I often find that if I combine 2 or 3 of them together they give me enough of a spark to at least get some words down.
  2. Listen to your favorite song and come up with a song to match it. I absolutely love music (and art). If I’m stuck without any fun ideas for a new story, then I’ll pull up my newest favorite song (or painting) and write a story using it as the backdrop.
  3. Pull out a collection from a single author or a anthology based on a theme. My latest idea for a novel came to me this way. It was time for another NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), and I was fresh out of ideas. So, I pulled out a collection of Irish folktales I bought way back in undergrad and began reading. Soon I had the makings of a new novel.

Ideas can come from so many different places. Maybe a quote from a conversation you overheard while waiting to checkout, or taking a single headline from the newspaper will send you down a road that you could have never dreamed up. The best way to discover new story ideas is to keep an open mind as you live your daily life. You never know when, or how, inspiration will strike when you live in the present moment.

Happy writing, friends.

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