If you are confused about how to find ideas for your next novel, then here are some simple tips that can help you to capture them.
Writing is a journey in itself. Because everytime a writer starts writing something new, they have to start from the drawing board every time. A common question writers are always asked is, “How and from where do you get your ideas?”. Well, we all can agree that when we get the hang of capturing ideas, it becomes easy for us to capture new ideas quickly.
But when you are just starting out in the field of writing it can be really tough to get fiction writing ideas easily. This is because most of our life we have been writing by following a structure, pattern, or a set of instructions. That is why, when we start to write fiction or something creative as such, it becomes really hard to find and capture great ideas.
When someone decides to take up the marathon task of writing a novel, it becomes even harder to get ideas to complete a masterpiece of 50,000-60,000 words. So, if you are stressing yourself out by thinking how you’ll find and capture ideas for your novel, then keep scrolling till the end to find out.
Trust Your Curiosity
An effective way to get ideas is to find out what you are most curious about. Where do your interests lie? Delving into your curiosity is nothing more than a journey of finding out what catches your attention.
You can start by finding out the little things about your curiosity. When you go to a bookstore, which section do you go to first? Or if you go to a new city, which places do you visit first? By noticing these small things you will slowly, but surely, find out what you are interested in.
Discovering and trusting your curiosity will help you get ideas for your writing. These small quirks differentiate each of us from one another. You and I don’t see or perceive the world in the same way and that is what makes us individuals. It’s also what makes us and our ideas stand out.
But, if you feel like you’re currently not curious about much, then you need to try hard to remember the things you were really interested in. Think back to when you used to do things for the fun of it. What were you curious about when you were young? By reminiscing your former curiosities, you will naturally become more curious in the present and have more ideas flowing into your head.
Don’t Start Writing with an Empty Mind
If you start writing empty-minded then you will face the infamous “writer’s block” really quickly. Without inspiration, there isn’t anything your creative mind can work with. Therefore, you will need to fill your creative mind and get inspired in order to get your creative juices flowing.
To do so, you need to take some time out for yourself. Go to new places like an art gallery, museum, or seminar. You could even read other books to get new ideas for your book. Remember, always keep a notebook on yourself, while looking for inspiration, to write down anything special you notice.
Go on Research Trips
Going on research trips is essential while writing your book. Because you need to know every single detail of the topic you`re going to write about. So, be sure to put yourself in situations that are out of your comfort zone. While you are visiting a new place, take note of what you’re feeling and also consider the questions that might arise while you are there.
Again, keep a notebook with you while visiting a place for research purposes, and be sure to write down what you see there. You don’t have to take a note of every single thing, but just a summary which you can combine later at your convenience.
Use Real People to Develop Your Characters
Every book needs characters to tell a story. So, you will also need to develop your characters for the novel you have in mind.
More often than not, your characters will have some personal aspects in them. If you meet someone who might be a great character for your novel, then write down the interesting character traits about them. That will help you to describe characters that the audience will be able to relate to. But you need to make sure that you don’t portray the character exactly like the real person. Otherwise, that person might realize and not appreciate the details of their personal life known by the public.
Use Real Events to Develop Your Storyline
Even if I’m reading fiction, I want to read something that I can relate to and that seems realistic to me. Novels are generally read by adults, and adults usually want something realistic and connectable, rather than a fairy tale.
So, while writing your novel, you should develop a storyline that’s based on real events, whether they happened in your life and or someone else’s life. Believe me that your readers will find your story interesting and will be able to connect to them.
Don’t Underestimate the “What If” Questions
More often than not the “what if” questions become the basis of a book. As for Andy Weir, the author of “The Martian”, his question was, “What if an astronaut got stuck alone on Mars?” For Stephen King, the author of “The Stand”, his question was, “What if 99% of the population was wiped out by a plague and you were one of the few lucky survivors?”
What made these books so famous is that they made people interested in their question. How they answered their “what if” questions also played a huge part in their success. There have been many books that have asked and answered these “what if” questions perfectly to get people hooked. So, if you can do the same, your book might have the same effect on the audience.
Use Ideas from Quotes
Your inspiration can come from anywhere. It can even come from quotes. This can include something said by a famous personality, a dialogue from a movie, or even from a certain part of a book.
So, keep your eyes and mind open all the time because you never know when you’ll find that amazing quote that might become the inspiration for your next novel.
Get Ideas from Other Books
Famous American novelist Cormac McCarthy once said, “Books are made of books.” meaning you can get ideas or inspiration for your novel by reading another novel. It obviously doesn’t mean that you can copy their characters and storyline, it simply refers to getting much-needed direction and inspiration for your writing.
To do so, you will need to read as many books as you can which will not only give you ideas and inspiration for your book but also give a better understanding of writing. Be cautious about one thing: don’t copy out entire passages word-for-word from a book. That will be considered plagiarism.
Capture Your Ideas
Ideas are like lightning in the sky because they also come and go. So, when a good idea strikes, be sure to write it down ASAP. You can have a notebook with you or write down your ideas on a note on your phone. Some writers prefer notebooks to scribble down their ideas because it gives them the writer’s vibe. I personally prefer notebooks over smartphones but I also can’t deny that smartphones are more convenient. So, it is actually up to you which way you prefer to capture your ideas.
Don’t tangle yourself in Common-Idea Worries
After you capture all of your ideas in the various ways discussed, you might worry about your ideas. But don’t worry, I’ve got your back. Here are some common-idea worries and their solution.
1. What if my idea gets stolen?
Always remember one thing, ideas are nothing unless they are executed properly. So, don’t get obsessed with one particular idea. If you can come up with one amazing idea, you can come up with more. And god forbid someone steals your idea, don’t worry about it because it’s nothing without the proper execution – which only you can deliver.
2. What if I’m using an existing idea?
In this case of writing an existing idea, I will say that there aren’t any original ideas. To some extent, every idea you’re gonna come up with has already been written before by someone else.
So, rather than worrying about the originality of your idea, you should focus on the execution of your idea. Basically, you should try to execute your particular idea better than it was ever done before.
3. How do I choose the perfect idea?
When you brainstorm tons of amazing ideas, one thing will definitely happen: you’ll be in the dilemma of choosing the perfect idea for your book.
In this case, I will say, rather than considering it as a dilemma, consider it as a blessing. This is because you can note down all the ideas and later on write as many great books as you want with them. Or, you can combine multiple good ideas to write one great novel (besides we all know a single idea is never enough to finish a novel).
I really hope this article will help you to find and capture ideas for your next novel. I hope it will help you to eventually write your dream novel and make you the next bestselling author.