Ideas come from a lot of places. Some, you get from watching people and listening to, or participating in, conversations. Some come from daydreaming or reading and asking the question, "What if?" Some fall out of the sky, out of nowhere, slamming into your head and causing a minor concussion.
Ideas can come from wandering through random locations. For example, you're on a night-time adventure with your buddies and you come upon a haunted warehouse. Creaking floors, cobwebs, eerie noises. You think to yourself, "Hey! This would be a cool place for a story!"
For me, wherever the idea originates from, when I sit down to write the story, the plot tends to spring from an image.
Here are the images that led to my three completed novels:
1. a farmhouse in the rain
|The actual farmhouse, minus the rain.|
This image led to an alternate history novel about a family dealing with hardships during a rainy season in the Civil War era.
2. a flaming sword
This image led to a fantasy novel about a sword forged by demons.
3. a poisonous moon
This image led to a science fiction novel about (go figure) a poisonous moon and a girl who lives on the planet it orbits.
I recently came up with another science fiction novel that stems directly from this image:
4. a wave that steals children
Wave by Jon Sullivan
If you're struggling to come up with a new idea for a novel, try starting with an image. Something that makes you ooh and awe and ask "what if?" Something that you can create a story around.
How do you come up with story ideas? Share your thoughts in the comments!