Tag Archives: how do i develop a story idea

How to come up with story ideas


I hear quite often how a writer cannot quite come to grips with their story ideas.

“What do I write about?”
“How do I write it?”
“Is there a right or wrong way?”

If you have to ask what to write about, you haven’t fully examined the wealth of ideas abounding around you. If you have to ask how to write, you haven’t grasped all the information poured into your head during your school days. If you have to ask about a right or wrong way…well, you have listened to too many people telling you HOW TO DO it.

Stop listening to the voices in your life telling you how to write your story and start listening to the voices in your head telling you HOW TO WRITE THEIR STORY.

Here is an exercise you can try that may free up your writing muse and get you going on the page. No one can tell a story about your life or from your life like you can. And if you were as lucky as I was to have storytellers in your life then you already have a fertile field from which to pluck stuff. Ideas really do come up from the ground like dandelions.

Believe me, you know WAY more than you think you do.

So, today,

write a story/use ideas that someone has told you.

Sit down, tap on the keys, or write in longhand something from your own existance. Did someone tell you about their grandfather stealing a horse? Write that scene from your grandfather’s perspective. Do you like the perspective of the horse’s owner? WRITE IT. Hey, remember Black Beauty? You could write it from the HORSE’S perspective!

What if your mother told you how she and your father met? Embellish it and make it into a romance. What about that time you were convinced someone was hiding behind your door, only to discover in the first light of dawn that it was your bathrobe hanging on the hook back there.

You see? Anything, ideawise, can spark a story. It’s up to you to write it. And for now, you have my permission to NOT write it by the “rules”. You can bury dialogue, use all the tags you want, and head-hop every which way but right.

Just get the story out. We will figure all the wherefores and whatalls at a later date.

I hope this helps someone out there find their courage. It helps me too!