Your mind is a swirling mass of ideas, but when you sit in front of your laptop, the overwhelming sight of a blank page makes your mind blank and there is only one question – “What should I write about?” Everyone gets intimidated by the prospect of actually sitting in front of the laptop and typing out a 100k words story, but sometimes approaching the six elements of fiction and trying to come up with singular ideas for each of the topics, help.
the six elements of fiction:
- Characters – the figures that we follow throughout the story
- Plot – the “what happens” of your story.
- Point of view – the eyes through which we see the story.
- Setting – the “where” and “when” of your story.
- Style – your way of arranging the words.
- Theme – the “deeper meaning” of your story, or what it represents.
For example, you can try to come up with the setting of your story, and build the world you want it to take place in, whether it be on Earth, or a fictitious place. Coming up with a certain character can also help, because the character’s desires will eventually lead you to the plot. But if this process doesn’t work for you, I am here to give you five tips that might help get those creative juices flowing.
#1 GET REAL
Starting from bestselling authors like Sabaa Tahir (An Ember in the Ashes) to John Green (Turtles all the Way Down), from fiction to contemporary, each story started with a real moment– a moment that they had personally experienced, an emotion that they were familiar with, a memory that was ingrained into their very self. So, tap into your emotions and think of all the emotions that you are strongly familiar with, whether it be anger, guilt, love or frustration. Start writing something about each feeling, and before you know it each feeling has a story behind it.
#2 PEN YOUR DREAMS
Dreams are bizarre and a mixture of our fears, interests, and imagination. But so are stories. Most people don’t remember the bulk of their dreams on waking up, but make an effort to write down your dreams, the instant you wake up. Maybe use a “Notes” app in your phone or keep a journal on your bedside table. This doesn’t always mean that the dream is the whole story, but it definitely gives you a starting point. Some of the best novels of all time were born of dreams – Frankenstein by Mary Shelly, Stuart Little by E.B White, Misery by Stephen King, etc.
#3 BE OBSERVANT
“Sonder” is the realization that each random passerby has a life as complex and vivid as your own. A character is the most important element of a story. Once you have a character, all you need is their desire, and the conflict. Now, you might be out of character ideas, but look around you. There is a different unique character everywhere. Take your notebook or laptop outside, and observe each and every passerby, hear each and every conversation within earshot, look at their actions and expressions. There is a story behind every person, and all you need to do is watch, invent, and build a backstory for each of them.
#4 EMBRACE BOREDOM
Everyone despises boredom, but as a creator you must learn to bask in it. Our brains always prefer a certain level of stimulation, so whenever we are bored, we run to television, books, games, etc. But when we don’t allow any external stimulation, the mind starts to produce stories and ideas to stay entertained. Thus, in allowing our minds to wander in boredom, we are encouraging creativity, which might go a long way in helping you land a great story idea.
#5 SEEK INSPIRATION
Writing is not the only form of art out there. Sure, you can gain a lot of inspiration from reading other books, but you can get the same from music, and paintings. Listen to music which gets your heart racing, and all the dopamine flowing. Let your imagination get in tune with the beat of the song, and think of an incident, a scene, a moment, that perfectly fits the song, and then elaborate on it. Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami, Wuthering heights by Emily Brontë, A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas, etc were all inspired by music. Similarly, with paintings you can scroll through a few of them until one catches your eye. Well loved books like the Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown, The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt, etc were borne of inspiration from paintings.
People usually say that “write a book you want to read,” but that’s easier said then done. My suggestion is that you try writing a scene that you want to be a part of. It doesn’t have to be the first scene or a very important scene, it just has to be something that you have been wanting to experience or write for a while. So, instead of waiting for the right time, just go ahead and play with the words, and arrange and re-arrange all those twenty-six letters, and have some fun. The story – the beginning, the end – will all fall into place.
Hey, guys! How you people doin’? Remember – once upon a time I had asked if you would like to see posts on writing and stuff, so yep! Here it is! This is one of those posts, which was already drafted and just required a teensy tiny bit…okay! Let’s keep it at – it required editing. And I am not a pro at coming up with story ideas, but I feel like these tips sometimes work for me well and after researching a little bit, I have come up with these six tips. And did I tell you guys? 👀
I guess I didn’t. Only panna knows, I think. 🤔 Anyways, I guess I am gonna break it to you here and now. Ready?
So, I landed an Internship early June. And 🥺😭 it’s not just any Internship. It’s like my dream job – a book editor. And the best part was that from a pool of around hundreds only eleven got in and I am one of the youngest!! I get to work with one of India’s top book editor (fifth in ranking) – Harika from Revise and Wrap. To be honest, I never expected to get in. I had persistently sent emails to lots of publishers for months and I kept getting rejected.😂 And I literally jumped up and down when I got the message that I got selected to work with and learn from one of the best!! Anyways, I should stop lmao. Feels like I am bragging 😂😅 Hehe. Sorry about that.
I hope you enjoyed this post!