Some aspiring writers may think that writing fiction is easy. They may ration that if they can just get the right ideas, putting a book together wouldn’t present that much of a challenge.

Whether or not that level of confidence is really warranted, it’s quite clear that the initial challenge lies in generating the perfect idea for a storyline.  This is especially true when writing fiction.  Fiction authors must be able to create concepts from thin air and expand them into full-blown stories and characters.



Every author has all the tools they need in their life to generate ideas. It only takes a little effort and creativity to recognize what and where they are. Simple things from life’s daily experiences can provide dozens of ideas. Anything you do or anywhere you go can supply storylines and plots for your next book. There are endless streams of sources from which ideas for writing fiction can manifest.  ChatEbooks lists down 10 common places and situations that can help stimulate your imagination for coming up with new fiction-writing topics, themes and ideas:


1. Work

Look to your career. Most people spend so much time at work that it only makes sense to look at one’s place of employment as a source of ideas when writing fiction. What are you good at? Your expertise? What sort of people do you generally meet? Use what you know and what you experience to generate ideas for crafting the characters of your story.


2. Passion

Think of what you are passionate about and see if you can extract a few ideas from the extra circular activities you’ve grown to love. If you enjoy swimming, explore that as a concept every time you swim a few laps. Dig into all of your hobbies and interests. And whenever you are engaging in them, keep an eye out for interesting occurrences. If you twist your ankle on the tennis court in a dive to score the game point – have your main character break their leg attempting the same dive. The point is, something is bound to happen during your activities that will spark ideas for different experiences to include in your story.


3. Television

Television is one of the most powerful sources of story ideas around. If you are thinking about writing fiction, try dissecting some of your favorite shows. Determine which story concepts have been done, which ones work and which ones could use a little more exploration. There are multitudes of ideas to mine from television.


4. Newspapers

When writing fiction, it’s good to have an understanding of various cultures and how they interact all over the world.  Reading a newspaper every once in a while is the perfect source for such an undertaking. Newspapers provide a glimpse into a variety of different facets of society – a smorgasbord for story ideas. Read the headlines to see what’s happening, and when you find one that grabs your attention, explore further.  You’ll be surprised at the juicy, weird and unimaginable things that lurk in newspapers.  It’ll be like reading fiction…for writing fiction.


5. People

Start making an effort to socialize more. Go to places where people gather (coffee shops, bars, etc.) and strike up a conversation with someone who appears interesting. Ask him/her about their lives and families and ideas will begin to form. Real life experiences from real people are the best source of material for developing characters when writing fiction. If you’re a bit on the shy side, do some people-watching at parks or beaches. Someone’s mannerisms, actions or clumsiness may result in an idea or two.


6. Books

Writers should be wide readers. You can find a lot of inspiration in the work of others. It can be a line of a dialogue, a passage or a situation that can spark interesting concepts for your story. Consume as much literature as you can. Your brain will begin using what you have read to generate its own ideas for a storyline.


7. Book Clubs

There is no better place to acquire suggestions for story ideas than a book club. Book clubs give you the opportunity to engage in conversations with other book lovers. And hearing how other people experience a book may give you an idea for material that can be spun off into your own work.


8. The Internet

The internet is a powerful source of ideas for authors writing fiction. More than merely visiting writing forums, just spend some time surfing online. Browse randomly and search different topics to see what others are seeing when using the same queries. There is always an interesting story hidden in some random corner of the internet through which you can generate unique ideas.


9. Dreams

It’s amazing what our subconscious can serve up at night. Start paying closer attention to your dreams. There are many nuggets of creativity hiding in the activities we engage in while we’re asleep. Start capturing the dreams you can remember by keeping a journal next to your bed and jotting them down the moment you awake. You can even go a step further by researching the meaning of your dreams.  Perhaps you’ll uncover some deep hidden memory or experience that can be brought to life by the characters in your story.


10. Travel

Take a trip when time away from your busy schedule allows. Traveling can open your eyes up to new places and cultural practices & experiences.  Even if your limited funds won’t allow out-of-town traveling at the moment, you can visit just as many wonders by traversing your local community. Hike the mountains or just go somewhere you have never been before. There are so many things to see in this beautiful land and exploring it is a great way to find ideas for writing fiction.

All-in-all, generating ideas for writing fiction should be pretty easy. Just start paying closer attention to your life and the world around you. When you do, you’re destined to come up with an interesting storyline that readers will love.


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10 Suggestions on How Authors Can Find Ideas for Writing Fiction
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