Where do your story ideas come from?

I’ve been wondering about this a little bit lately. Where do people get their book ideas from? I myself getΒ  inspiration and ideas from various places. I got my one series idea from a sentence I wrote that made absolutely no sense. I got my other book idea from two amazing songs by Poets of the Fall. Two of my other book ideas I got from dreams I had. I love that ideas and inspiration can come from anywhere at anytime. I have to make sure I always have a pen and paper nearby so that I can write ideas down as they come to me.

Where do you get your story ideas from?


23 thoughts on “Where do your story ideas come from?

  1. Like you, I get my ideas from different sources. Sometimes I’ll be watching a movie and ask myself “what if questions” like “what if this character actually lived ____” or “what if instead of doing ____ the character did ____.”

    Dreams are a very powerful muse for me. Outside of the weird imagery dreams provide, they also produce very sharp emotions that I tap into for books and scenes.

    I can’t remember: have you ever shared one of your book ideas in a previous post? What are you currently working on?

  2. I love that you said inspiration can come from anywhere. I want to invite you to participate in our creative writing exercises Picture it & Write and Listen & Write. Who knows, maybe your idea will expand into a book!

    Speaking for my coauthor and I, we get inspiration from everything, from art, from music, from life- the misunderstandings that occur from misunderstandings, hearing aids turned down, or full mouths. For our first series, literature and other authors had a big influence on our writing. How different would Harry Potter have been if read from Snape’s POV? Hamlet and Rosencrantz are Dead and Wicked were also very interesting reads for dual perspectives.

    -Eliabeth Hawthorne

  3. I usually get my inspiration from other books and movies, and when I dream they all come together in a whirlpool. Although, I have not wrote anything original yet, but for practice I write spin off plots to novels I read.

  4. I’m not sure where my ideas come from. Some lately have been inspired by comments on my blog! Others have been inspired by calls for stories on particular subjects, funny looking people, or just those quiet moments when for once I am completely present in my own head. Hope you know what I mean by this – there is usually such a lot of noise in there with competeing demands, that those moments of perfect clarity are often terrific inspiration.
    Interesting subject!

  5. I often get story ideas from dreams. I write the ideas down and then the stories grow from there. Other story ideas have come from asking the question ‘what if XXX happened’ and writing the story from there. Like ‘what if’ you started a new job and found that your first boyfriend is one of the senior managers there. And what if he had dumped you or you had dumped him. How would that story play out? It kind of becomes a snowball effect. Other ideas come from daydreaming at work when I should be working πŸ™‚

  6. I find that my stories are usually inspired by something that I have done. For example, when I was young I drew a fleet of ships. (about 21 think) Anyway, As I was looking at them all pinned up on my wall, it occurred to me that I could write a story about the fleet. As a result, I have a crude sketch of 300 years worth of an imaginary nations history in short story form. Then of course I had to write a story about an allied nation that appears in my history, so I started a novel. My ideas tend to snowball out of control. πŸ™‚

  7. From my travels, sometimes an image stays in mind of a place and what I imagine happened there, to the point where the imagined seems like it really did happen, I love to travel in my mind to places I have been and reimagine stories.

    Recently I have been using theme prompts, I have a subscription to Mslexia Magazine and they do a quarterly writing prompt and invite you to send a story/poem in after which they publish a selection of them, I was surprised that it worked for me, especially when I found myself somewhere in between appointments, an hour to spare and no other distractions, notebook to hand, that’s when a writing prompt works best for me.

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