- guide; tips; how tos; -

how to come up with great story ideas

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.

BONUS TIP:

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?

Gitarre guitare GIF - Find on GIFER

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!

133 thoughts on “how to come up with great story ideas

  1. These tips are very helpful and I can learn many things from these ❤❤❤
    Also, you keep surprising me ❤❤❤ congrats on your internship 👏 🥳🥳

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Don’t think about the end! You still have the entire opportunity in front of you, don’t waste it thinking about how it’ll eventually end! And even when it does end, you’ll still have this experience and the knowledge you gain from this with you, so it will still have helped you!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Ahh so true! Thank you so much for your kind words 🥺❤️ you are amazing ✨ overall, this internship was a great experience and got to work on a few editing projects with the editor and interact with some really cool people. And not to mention the fact that now I just love the idea of being an editor more even if it means crazy deadlines 😳😳 thankx again ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Those are some great tips indeed. Well done, Ashmita. Also, congratulations on the internship. I’m glad that you didn’t get those rejections get to you. I’m glad that you kept trying. This is something that you deserve to brag about. Way to go, girl! 😃

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Ahh thank you soo much shweta! ❤️ Haha. Honestly, I am glad too. But I think mostly applying and actually getting to work with those publishing industries was a far fetched thought. Because, in India there are not a lot of internship opportunities for school students. In fact it’s next to nil. Most of them are just volunteer work, which is great and even I have done them. But there aren’t any opportunities. And hahah. Thank you!!! ✨💜

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Ahhhh thank you!!!!!!!! Please, after your graphics ….those supreme graphics …these are peasants.😂🤦

    But thank you soo much!! Uh, I don’t know. Because, when I arrange it, they usually have lines which tell me if it’s in the middle or not. But I think you already know that 😂🤦

    And thankx ahaana ✨❤️

    Like

  7. This post was wonderful! I was always thinking about writing a story, and as you said, it’s overwhelming😭😭But thanks a lot for the tips.
    And congratulations on the internship. AND IT’S YOUR DREAM JOB😌🤩must be so exciting! All the best!!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. OMG I can’t thank you enough!!! These are such amazing tips! and Congrats on your internship!! I’m so happy for you that you’re getting to do your dream job! All the best Ashmita! ❤❤ (am I a bit jealous of you?….maybe?…but I’m more happy! 🤗🤗)

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Oh my goodness, ASHHHH!!!!! That is so awesome!!!! You so deserve this. 🥺💙
    Of course, can’t forget that you’ve given some amazing tips here too. 👏👏

    Liked by 3 people

  10. WOW, ASHMITA!!! CONGRATULATIONS!!🙌 This is an exciting news!✨ This is an awesome post! I’ve been trying to get inspiration for a story for many days and I finally got some tips for that! Yay!! Thanks for sharing!💛

    Liked by 2 people

  11. OMG!!! Internship!!! Wow! That is so so so so cool! You lucky one!!
    And such awesome tips, I’m trying to figure out how to save this post on a desktop. Or I might just go save it on my phone.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. OMG DUDE, I AM SO HAPPY FOR U 😭😭😍😍😍
    I know how badly u wanted to be an editor, and aah, I’m so so happy dude CONGRATUFUCKALSTIONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 😍😍😍😍
    Don’t forget me after you’re a great editor and edit books of popular authors 🤧🤧
    That may be an exaggeration…or not 😍.
    DUDE, THIS IS SO COOL IM SO hAPPY YAY 😃

    Again, don’t forget me 😒

    And aah. I’ve just saved ur post so I can read the tips later, got some work on hand 🤓 (that being pretending to sleep)

    AASHU U ROCK !! 👋🛍👒🧠👻😂

    Liked by 2 people

  13. OMG! The tips!!!! It was really helpful. I’m sorta motivated to complete that book of mine now😁❤️
    WE WANT MORE RESEARCH!!! RESEARCH! RESEARCH! lol, jk. But seriously. This was helpful.
    ~Panna😂

    Liked by 2 people

  14. i love these tips so much!!! also ashmita – omg congratulations!! that is so amazing, and i’m so proud of you!! btw – this is completely unrelated but omg your blog is growing so much!! 175 likes already?? i’m proud of you for that tooooo!! ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  15. 😭😭 ahhh divi!!! Ur comments always make my day. I really hope you get around to writing ur novel. I will look forward to reading it one day! Yes, it is very overwhelming indeed 😞 but the secret 👀…is … 👀 TO JUST START!!! good luck to you ❤️ and ikr!!! It’s the most exciting thing that has happened to me in a while apart from being stuck at home for a year+ 😐😑

    Thank you!!! ❤️❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Ah I am incredibly glad you found them helpful diya! ❤️ Thank you soo much!!!

    Haha 😂 thankx for being happy. But hey, are you interested in editing and doing internships? Maybe you can try emailing you know. That’s how I landed one.

    Just let me know if you ever need any help ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Nehuuuuuuuuu thank you!!! 😭😭😭🤧🤧🤧🤧🤧 Ahh I still want to badly!!! Thank you abdbsnajsjsjn bro, I can NEVER FORGET U. Ah fingers crossed, I can actually do that 😭😭

    Thank you!!!! Your comment is making me tear up 🤣🤦
    I won’t forget u 😑
    😂😂 Thankx for saving the post and happy pretending 😂❤️

    U rock too!!! 🦋🥂🌛🤖🕳️🦛🐬🐠

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Loved the idea of writing a scene which I want to be a part of! It really is daunting to sit in front of a blank screen and think of ideas but will keep these points in mind!

    Liked by 2 people

  19. Your post helped me in learning various good tips hope I can implement them as a new blogger and a deserving candidate like you surely deserve such great internship. Congratulations on that🥳. Hope you get more success ahead. Best of luck😊. The feeling after achieving dream is so great Right?

    Liked by 2 people

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