20 February 2018

I am asked this a lot. Where do the ideas for a story come from. You may be surprised to hear the answer…

Before we look at what the answer is, let’s consider some of the theories out there on where the idea fro a story comes from –

  1. Divine intervention. That some higher power passes this on to you.
  2. That an author has some special power of creativity.
  3. The internet — that Googling ‘get ideas for a story’ will deliver that spark of magic.
  4. Stealing. Like music, there may be elements of one or more good stories in another.

If you are looking for a magic bullet in this article, then you may want to stop reading now. The solution isn’t as instant s any of those listed above.


And to help you think about why, here is the reason –

Each and every writer will do something different with a story idea

If the basic idea is “Your character’s deepest fear is holding his or her relationship OR career back,” then the result will be different for every writer. A little like the ‘infinite number of monkeys’ idea.

So, now we know how not to look for inspiration, how do we actually get our ideas? It is far more organic than you expect…

Ideas for writing a book

Writing a book off the back of an exciting, well-researched idea cannot be beaten. It gives you inspiration and allows the work to flow. This comes from interacting with the world.

Yes, that’s the place where stories come from.

Many authors write about their own experiences. Why? Because they can remember them vividly, can relate to them and feel passionate about the idea.
The result is a piece of work that feels authentic. Nothing gets a reader like authenticity. If you don’t think that your life story is worth putting in print in its entirety, then think about including the parts that are. This is what I did with my first novel, David’s Goliath.

Speak to people, read more, get out there and find the inspiration for your next novel. If you are fired up by the idea, then this will show on the page. And you are far more likely to finish it and want to share it with the world.