Writing Do’s and Don’ts: Coming Up With Your Idea

Hey guys. Please be patient with me as I slowly change this blog over to the new posting schedule.

I thought I would start off the first “writing do’s and don’ts” at the beginning–coming up with the idea for your book. Here are some tips that help me to find new ideas:

DO:

1. Look around your world for inspiration.

I began Whispertown after a discussion on abortion. Shades of Genesis is based on parents I used to know. Creeper is based on a real event that happened to someone I know. You never know what can inspire your writing. Many stories are based on real events such as these.

2. Write what interests (or frustrates) you.

I find that I have the most success with writing when I write about something that interests me. So if something really grabs your heart, write about it. Be passionate. You can also write about something that frustrates you. That’s how Whispertown, Shades of Genesis, and Creeper were all started as well–by events and attitudes that frustrated me.

3. Take a simple concept and make it unique.

Sometimes you can take a simple concept that others have written about and make it stand out. A good example to look at is a lot of stories in fantasy. They have similar plot elements (think Star Wars, Harry Potter, Eragon, etc.) yet are unique enough to stand on their own.

4. Brainstorm.

Although most ideas come right to my door and demand to be written about, sometimes brainstorming an idea also works. Peace Represent was a brainstormed idea that grew into a story.

Picture Source: http://fc03.deviantart.net/fs70/f/2010/129/0/b/Brainstorming_by_c0nch1.jpg
Picture Source: http://fc03.deviantart.net/fs70/f/2010/129/0/b/Brainstorming_by_c0nch1.jpg

DON’T:

1. Copy other stories.

This may seem like common sense, but let me assure you–it’s not. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve stumbled on books that sound like other, more popular books that everyone has read. Yes, I am partly talking about Twilight here. While not all vampire books are similar to Twilight, some are so alike that it makes me cringe. Be original. Stand out. If you want to write about the same exact things as an already published book, I suggest sticking with fanfiction. There’s nothing wrong with writing fanfiction–I grew up writing fanfiction.

2. Always wait for ideas to come to you.

Although I admit that most of my ideas come to me rather than me seeking them out, this doesn’t mean that they will always be there. Sometimes there will probably be a point where you will need to do some brainstorming or thinking about things that inspire you.

3. Be afraid to store ideas.

I’ve had lots of ideas in my time. Too many to take the time to write each time that I got one. There’s nothing wrong with saving these ideas for later. Sure, a lot of them may not sound so good in the future, but that might also be a good thing. If you find yourself burdened with lots of ideas, jot down as much of them as you can and store them somewhere safe. When you have the time and no current ideas, you’re all set.

 

What are your suggestions for coming up with a book idea? If I didn’t cover it, I would love to hear about it!

 

jncahill_name

 

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