Question of the day: How do you come up with story ideas?
My ideas are mainly sparked by random things.
A word, an image, a conversation…it could be anything, it’s that random.
Just recently, I visited Holkham Hall a gorgeous estate in Norfolk and I returned home with a new middle-grade story idea. The weird thing is I’ve never written a middle-grade story before, so the thought of writing one scares me a little. If I were to put this on paper and attempt to write it, it’ll be quite a challenge.
Here are some of the ways I’ve come up with ideas for my various projects:
Story Idea One (YA Fantasy)
The idea came from a conversation I had with someone about something she’d seen. I was about ten years old when she first told me about it, and I was mesmerized. I still am. This is super vague—I know, but what others deem as fantasy, I say something else… so I’ll leave it there.
Story Idea Two (YA Contemporary)
Someone once said to me “fantasy is dead”, which is one of the reasons why I decided to write across genres. So a few years ago I was trying to figure out what to write next and the idea for this story came from a conversation I had with my husband whilst we were in the car driving to work. Over the years this Manuscript has evolved and I love it.
Story idea Three (YA Paranormal)
This was from a dream that felt so real. I woke up and plotted the entire book in one day. I’m generally a pantser, but this story was different. I saw the world so vividly. It was so colorful, mysterious, and beautifully beastly…
Story Idea Four (YA Fantasy Thriller)
This idea came from the News. There was a debate about something, and I was like, ah, that could be the main plot of a fabulous story. And that’s how it started.
Story Idea Five (YA Contemporary Fantasy)
This story idea had been brewing inside me for quite some time. It’s one of those stories that has my whole heart and for many reasons. My childhood memories play a big part in this story. Stories I heard as I grew up. Mythology and spirits. Beliefs and customs. Our way of life. Hopefully, I can share more of this with you in the near future.
An idea is not a plot, but one can’t have a plot without an idea, so both are equally important! Have I turned these ideas into plots? Oh, yes, I have! Do they make sense? I guess, I hope. Are they complete? Most are, but a book is never complete until it’s on the shelf…