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Ideas for Writing Part II
Ideas for Writing Part II
Last week we explored a simple and easy way to discover great ideas for your next novel. This week we are going to look at a few more places to find great ideas for your next bestselling book. I always find it funny when someone tells me that they can’t think of a good idea for a book. There’s so much to experience in our world that the possibilities for books are endless. We will never exhaust all the possible stories out there and that’s a great thing, it means there’s always something new for authors to write about.
One of the ways we can have so many books about the same subject is that the characters are different. Truly special, unique characters are what changes a book from okay to a best seller. Many stories are similar but one will have amazing characters that the audience relates to and are rooting for while the other has characters that don’t strike a chord with the reader. The great character who is placed into a difficult situation is the one that we remember. The next time you are stumped for a book idea take an extra character from a book and retell the story from that character’s perspective.
This can work for any different genera but works very well in science fiction and fantasy. Instead of a story being about the captain of a spaceship, the story could be about an ensign trying to become an officer. Instead of writing about the hero that saved the day turn the story into the person that helped the hero and didn’t receive any credit for their efforts. As I mentioned last week, how many different books are there about King Arthur, each written from the view of a different person?
Creating fun and memorable characters and placing them into different and unique situations is a great way to come up with more book ideas. Did you create a character that’s a wild party animal, always laughing and having a good time? What happens if his new job requires him to be very serious and mature? What about a shy teenaged girl who discovers that to get into the college she wants she needs to have a varsity letter in a sport and the only sport in the school with an opening on it is the wrestling team? How about a couple who switched jobs to be able to spend more time with their children but find out their job is sending them on a yearlong space mission?
Those three ideas are all ideas I came up with in the last thirty seconds of writing this blog. Would they be best sellers? Would a publishing house even want to read them? I don’t know. It all depends on your writing style and how you make the characters interact with the people and situations around them. The point is, each book you write, each story you write will make your writing style better. The more you have to show to a publishing house the better chance you’ll have of getting a publishing deal. Do you want to be the person showing a publishing house one manuscript or ten?
Coming up with characters is easy. We interact with people all the time. Every time we step out of our homes we are coming into contact with more people. Some we know very well, some we don’t know at all. Pay attention to the people when you are out and about on your day. Think about your co-workers. What are the little things they do that make them unique? What are the strange things they do? What are the amazing things they do?
Everyone has a story within them because they live a life. I’ve found that by asking people about their story I’ve been given plenty of characters and material for my writing. Most are more than happy to tell me their story and let me us it in my writing. Some don’t. Don’t force a person but ask around. Find out who wants to be a character in a book and learn about that person. What do they want most of all in the world? Put them into a story where what they want most is just out of their reach and they have to go through more and more steps to get it.
Shifting characters into different and unique settings and studying the people around you are two great ways to develop more story ideas. I am constantly thinking of new story ideas, writing them all down, not discounting any of them until I have at least explored them somewhat. Stay tuned next week when I reveal a very unique and simple way to get great ideas for non-fiction books. I’ll reveal a source of information that can give you hundreds of fiction and non-fiction story ideas. Until then, head over to my website, www.leifericksonwriting.com and check out my books today. Thank you.