Five Ways to Generate More Story Ideas

Once when someone asked me where I get my story ideas, I commented that I would have to walk around with a bucket over my head not to get story ideas.  And that’s the truth.  But it doesn’t do any good to get ideas if you don’t write them down.  So that’s tip number 1.

  1. Write down at least one idea each day.  I just finished taking part in the Storystorm challenge. Writers who participate set a goal of generating 30 ideas in January.  If I think of it like that, I’m liable to let things slide.  It is better for me to think of it as one a day.  Get in this habit and the ideas keep coming.  My notebook has 39 new ideas for 2020 although we are only on day #37.  That’s not a huge difference but the more ideas I record, the more that come.
  2. Take part in a challenge.  Storystorm is a great way for me to get started generating ideas each year.  Otherwise, I mean to do it.  I say that I’m going to do it.  But if I take part in a challenge like this one?  I do it.
  3. Fuel your fire. When I walk on the treadmill, I read blog posts.  Some are about books.  Others are about writing.  Almost every blog in my “news” feed deals with science or history.  This is where many of my ideas originate.
  4. Keep your eyes open.  Once you start writing ideas down, it gets easier to find them but remember to keep your eyes and ears open.  The other day, a friend said something about when flying foxes have almost gone extinct.  What?  I didn’t know that!  Of course, she knew what it meant when I got all excited.  She’d just given me an idea.
  5. Remember no idea is too small. When I talk about story ideas, I don’t mean a fleshed out plot, character and outline.  In the land of SueBE Idea Generation anything goes.  Often it is the premise.  Or a historic topic I want to explore.  And that’s okay.

Even if you are a novelist, get in the habit of writing down ideas.  I’m surprised how many have already become a part of my mystery novel.  And, if you’ll excuse me, I have another idea to write down.