There are many different stages of writing a novel and none of them are easy. A lot of people say the first step of the creative writing process would be outlining or simply writing the first draft. However, there’s another step that we tend to do without realizing it… that is, unless we have writer’s block. We need to find ideas to write about. So, here are a few places to find novel ideas.
We all do it, don’t deny it. You can’t tell me you’ve never sat in a coffee shop or stood in line at the grocery store and listed to the people beside you gossip, bicker, or have a general conversation. Eavesdropping is great because you have no idea what’s going on and you can imagine what’s happening – in their lives and also in the lives of your characters. How would they react in a such a situation?
Driving around, trying new restaurants, or simply walking around your local hometown, is an awesome way to get ideas for novels. Not only can you eavesdrop on the people around you, but you can also take in the area and what it looks like. All places are great for a setting whether it’s just for one scene or not. Either way, something could happen in nature or there could be a statue in the park that would make for a great writing prompt or beginning to the story.
3. What You’re Currently Doing
Seriously, begin a story where your character is sitting at their computer reading someone else’s blog. Why are they doing it? What topic are they reading about? Or maybe they’re not reading a blog but doing something else on the computer. Maybe they’re reading a story, browsing through memes, work or homework, or… maybe something they shouldn’t be doing.
4. The Internet
Anything that happens on the Internet is a free-for-all. Every quote, meme, photo, and content can be used as a writing prompt. As long as you change it enough to make it your own or you give credit where credit is due, you’re good to go.
5. Writing Prompts
Speaking of writing prompts, use a writing prompt. These can be found in prompt books, apps, suggested to you by a writer friend, or, of course, the Internet. Pinterest is a great place to find writing prompts. I love prompts because they spark so many new ideas for me. A lot of my flash fiction and short stories end up growing into longer pieces or novels because the characters won’t get out of my head.
6. Start A New Way
Do you typically find the base of your novel with the plot? Or maybe you create your characters first? Try beginning in a different way. Start your novel with nothing but a title idea or nothing but an object that will somehow be crucial to the plot.
7. Real Life
Did anything significant happen in your life? Write about that. Put your characters in your shoes – the good, the bad, and the ugly.
There are so many other places to find novel ideas. Ideas are all around you. Every place you go, everything you say, and everything you have can be turned into an idea. You just need to think deep enough about it.