"The best time for planning a book is when you're washing the dishes." — Agatha Christie
Book ideas and writing inspiration can strike at the strangest of moments — or not at all. Struggling to come up with interesting book ideas is a fairly common writing struggle. Such is the fickle nature of creativity.
However, you need not despair when you find yourself in a creative rut! Whether you're trying to reach a deadline or just itching to start on a brand new adventure, here are some ways you can generate some great book ideas for your next story.
7 Ways To Find Great & New Book Ideas
1. Adapt mythology or fairy tales
There are so many works out there that are adaptations or retellings of mythology or fairy tales. We think of Angela Carter's feminist fairy tale retellings in The Bloody Chamber, or the modern twist on Greek mythos in the Percy Jackson series.
If you're struggling to come up with an interesting story idea, consider writing a small adaptation or retelling of a tale or mythology that you're fond of. Or, search up myths or folktales from different cultures — you may just find something that sparks your inspiration!
2. Write about a dream you've had
Your dreams can be kernels of inspiration, be it a good dream or a nightmare. In some cases, nightmares may even be greater sources of inspiration than a pleasant dream!
Think of your most absurd dream. What can you remember of it, and how can you build a story around the snippets you remember?
And here's a fun fact: The book Sophie's Choice, was inspired by a dream — or, in his words, a "remnant of a dream" — that the author, William Styron had.
3. Create a character based on someone you know
As writers, our works tend to be inspired (if not based) on your real-life experiences. And often times, the characters we write about often possess traits of not just our own, but of the people around us in real life as well.
So, if you're struggling to come up with a book idea, why not start by creating a character instead? Think of someone in your life and create a character based on them!
This is not only a fun exercise in character creation, but you might just be able to come up with an interesting storyline surrounding this new character of yours.
4. Read news headlines for ideas
Not everyone has an eventful life. If you're looking for a wild and out-of-the-world story idea, consider reading news headlines for ideas!
From bizarre stories to more political and serious incidents, the news can be an interesting source of story premises and book ideas.
For an extra challenge, base your book idea on just the headline, without reading into the details of the incident. This allows you to add your own personal twist and fantastical ideas to the basic premise.
5. Get book ideas from music
Listening to music isn't just a way to stay focused when writing; it can be a source of inspiration for great book ideas as well!
A musical piece also has a story to tell, be it through the choice of instruments, the highs and lows, and of course, through the lyrics.
So, the next time you're in a creative rut, why not put on some music and imagine a story to go along with it? Listen to a soulful ballad and come up with a tragic story of star-crossed lovers, or a high-tension rock beat and come up with a fight sequence. Let your mind roam free, and go along with the music!
6. Bounce ideas around with a friend
Having a buddy to bounce ideas off of can be incredibly helpful when you're searching for brand new book ideas. Two minds are greater than one, after all!
Grab a friend and discuss your ideas together, no matter how vague or how silly you think they are. Often times, having a friend by your side can give you more ideas and help you further develop a basic premise or a character. And, in turn, you can help them out with their own ideas as well!
Thanks to the Internet, it's easier than ever for you to find other writers in search of a community. Be it through social media or online writer's forums, there are writing communities out there with tons of resources and friendly people to exchange ideas with.
7. Explore other mediums & genres
Inspiration for more book ideas lies everywhere, including places outside of your comfort zone. Watch a musical, play a story-driven video game, put on a documentary... these are all options that you can explore to expand your horizons.
You should also explore other genres that you're not used to writing or reading! Horror, action, comedy, romance, thriller... each genre has something to offer. You'll be surprised at just how much inspiration you can get from simply watching or reading a genre you've never explored much before!
Keep track of your book ideas
Beyond it all, it's important to keep track of all your book ideas, no matter how vague or thought-out they may be. After all, you never know when one might become your next great work.
Consider writing down all your book ideas using JotterPad!
JotterPad allows you to save your documents on a cloud service of your choice, so that you can access your book ideas across various platforms. From JotterPad's web app to your mobile devices, you can add more book ideas and develop on them from the comfort of your PC or on your phone on the way home!
We hope that this article has given you some ideas on how you can get inspired for more book ideas! Write on.