Where do you get your ideas?
A member of one of my writer’s groups asked me this question, because I mentioned a specific concept she really liked: a murder mystery with romantic and paranormal elements. In response, I disclosed that I have a running list of story ideas.
My current list consists of 23 story ideas. Once I start a story it comes off the list, and the idea moves into my story folder where it remains as my “inspiration” as I am writing.
Of those 23, only three are sequels to existing projects. The rest are unrelated ideas ranging from a historical romance in 1920’s America, to a high fantasy epic, and a science fiction/military erotic short story.
So, the underlying question remains…where did they all come from?
Well some were dreams I had, others based on news reports, real life events, or even video games. One was based on a nasty nightmare I had about feral vampires in modern-day France…
When I was a kid, my favorite entertainment was creating stories in my head. At the time, this was purely for my own enjoyment, but now whenever I do this it goes on the list.
So, a story pops into my head, and I write it down.
Each story gets a summary, and any plot or character concepts I think are important.
Then it stays on the list until I have time to write it.
If you are struggling with new story ideas, follow these simple steps.
1. Carry a Notepad with you at all times. Leave it on your bedside table at night.
2. Write any interesting dreams, or thoughts you have down. As soon as you have them.
3. Create a Document on your computer called something like “Story ideas.”
4. Once you have a story outline add it to the file. Include:
a. General Concept & Title (i.e. Werewolf Romance)
b. Main Character Short Profile (i.e. Colorado Ranch Owner, or Elementary School Teacher)
c. Overreaching Plot (i.e. Broken-hearted woman falls for neighbor)
d. Vital details: Names, Places, Back Story that affects Plot or Characters (i.e. Rachel was dumped by fiancé a month ago)
5. When you need inspiration go back, pick a story, and write it!
This will help you get through dry spells, and you will be surprised by some of the things that pop into your head at random moments!
Number 24 appeared in my head while I was writing this Blog post!