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5 Ways to Come Up with Story Ideas

If you know there’s a book inside of you but you’re struggling to come up with story ideas, don’t fret. Here are five ways to help you generate story ideas for your book:

5 Ways to Come Up with Story Ideas

1. Take examples from real life. Observe the world around you, listen to other people’s stories, watch a documentary, listen to a podcast, or read the news. Real-life events can evoke strong emotions and spark creative ideas. The details of real-life situations will also make your story seem more realistic.

2. Ask hypothetical questions. When you ask yourself 'what if' questions, you’ll allow yourself to think outside of the box. It will help ignite your curiosity and pique your imagination. An example is Jose Saramago’s novel Death at Intervals, which was inspired by the question, “What would happen if death took a holiday?”

3. Draw inspiration from different books. The importance of reading for writers cannot be overstated. Analyze the plot of your favorite books and think about how you can put your own unique spin on them.

4. Keep a running list of random ideas. The best ideas come to you when you least expect them. How often has an idea come to you while you’re in the shower, strolling through the park, walking your dog, watching a movie, or listening to music? When an idea occurs to you at random, write it down as soon as possible. It’s a good idea to have a pen and notebook handy especially when you’re out and about.

5. Just write. Make free writing part of your everyday routine. When you write regularly, you’ll be flexing your creative muscles and sometimes you might even stumble upon new ideas.

There are no such things as bad ideas. Let your mind wander and stay curious.

Do you know of other ways to come up with story ideas? Feel free to share them in the comments below.

At IABX, our mission is to promote and empower independent authors. We strive to provide useful and valuable information to do just that.

Feel free to send us an email at if you have any comments or suggestions. We would love to hear from you!

Missed the past weeks' Wednesday Writing Tips? Check them out here.

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