Finding Ideas For Your Next Novel

Often times, I hear the question, “How do you come up with ideas for your books?” Just as often, I hear from newbie writers that they struggle with developing ideas for a novel. What should be one of the easiest aspects to writing a book, becomes a struggle. But coming up with an idea, though vital, should be one of the easiest steps in the process of writing–taking that idea and creating an entertaining read is the hard part.

Ideas and/or inspiration for books are all around us. Watch the news. Read the newspaper, or a couple of magazines. Look around–at your family, your friends. Maybe there’s already a subject you are passionate about. Chances are, there’s a great idea for a book blooming right in front of you. The key is to recognizing those ideas when you see them.ie writers that they struggle with developing ideas for a novel. What should be one of the easiest aspects to writing a book, becomes a struggle. But coming up with an idea, though vital, should be one of the easiest steps in the process of writing–taking that idea and creating an entertaining read is the hard part.

The basis for my books are often started with a spark of an idea. For my novel, Waiting On Hope, an im

To further my plot, I used a method to developing an idea, which many other authors use (including NYT bestseller Jodi Picoult.) The “what if” method. “What if her rapist was her best friend’s husband?” “What if she found out she was pregnant?” “What if her best friend had been trying to conceive, unsuccessfully, for years?” I asked myself “what if” with each scenario, until I had begun to develop the plot line and several points of conflict. This is a very effective way of building on ideas, and was, in fact, how my novel Waiting On Hope was born.age of a woman, so distraught, so desperate and depressed, she wanted to end her life came to mind. I, then, asked myself “what would make her want to end everything?” Rape came to mind, and so my idea started.

The idea for a new novel, one I have yet to write, but am completely excited about, came from something I saw on the Today Show. Before I sit down to write it, I will certainly use the “what if” method for developing the idea further.

The point is, ideas are all around us. Grab one, even if it seems too insignificant, and play with it. Ask yourself, “what if?” Before you know it, you may have your next novel. Maybe even a bestseller.

 

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4 thoughts on “Finding Ideas For Your Next Novel

  1. I needed a little boost today, so thanks for this entry. You’re right about grabbing ideas and working with it…I tend to let too many ideas go, or I get paralyzed by the sheer numbers of ideas floating out there in the ether.

  2. Thank you Robert, that’s very kind of you. It’s true that there are so many ideas around us, we just need to develop them. Don’t get me wrong, I have struggled with this myself. But I think we “creative types” sometimes make things more difficult than they need to be. One way I LOVE to do that is by over-analyzing everything.

  3. Life inspires my ideas! My current WIP is inspired by babysitting my son’s dogs 🙂
    My book “Kyle & Kelly” was inspired by none other than my yearly jury duty notice that I got in the mail! Who would have thought!

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