When I tell people I am a writer, their response is sometimes “Oh, I would love to be a writer! I have always wanted to write a book!” Which leads to their second question, “Where can I get ideas? Where do I start?” Ever since I was little, I have never been at a loss for ideas. My mind is always rolling story ideas. Everywhere I look, I can come up with an idea or start for a story.
Some people don’t think the same way I do, so you may need help getting started. Here are some ideas I have for you to help you generate ideas for a storyline for that novel you always wanted to write!
Look around you
I know that sounds so simplistic but seriously, look around you. Do you ride the bus to work? Listen to what people are talking about. There are always people on their cell phones, talking to the person next to them or, depending on where you live, they are talking to themselves. Observe the person in front of you in line at the grocery store. What’s in her cart? Why is she purchasing that wine, that ice cream, those vegetables? Where do you think she lives? Is she married? Where does she work?
Look at Yourself
What interests you? What makes you tick? What experiences have you had? What event changed your life? Is there a decision that you made in your life that if you had chosen differently would have totally flipped the way you live now? What kind of books do you like to read? What common theme have you been reading lately? Why?
Read the Newspaper/Watch the news
Yes, the news can be depressing, I know but there are SO many ideas you can get! Why did the wife kill her husband? Why did that middle aged woman rob a bank? Will she get caught? What is she going to do with the money? That lady who left her kids at home alone, where did she go? Why was she so desperate to go there? Is this the first time she did it? What about the female news caster? How is she? Where did she come from? What happened while that female report was digging for information for this story? What happened afterward?
Websites with Writing Prompts
And a good resource is websites with writing prompts! Sometimes when I am stuck in a spot with what I am currently writing, I browse some of my favorite websites to generate ideas for my current story or sometimes end up writing something totally different that gets my sparks flying. Here are some suggestions:
The Write Prompts is a great starting place from my fellow BellaOnline.com editor Maureen Wood. She updates this weekly!
Prompt Generator A very simplistic little tool but can make your mind take off!
OnceWritten.com New prompts added daily!
The Write Prompts
And of course there are hundreds of books on the topic! Here are a few that I recommend.
And the most important advice I EVER got when writing and coming up with ideas:
CARRY PAPER AND PEN WITH YOU EVERYWHERE YOU GO! You never know when an idea will strike and you don't want to lose that idea by the time you get home!!