Where to find great story ideas? Twitter’s response.

Some writers never struggle for ideas of things to write about, whether that’s blog posts or stories or anything else. They say they have more ideas than they know what to do with and their brain is overloaded with them.

For me, the reverse is true. I struggle for ideas and always have. For the last couple of years I’ve been writing short stories but I want to start a novel soon. I feel under pressure to come up with a good idea that I love and am excited about. After all, I’m going to spend at least a year with this story (writing, revising, promoting) so I need to love it. There’s also a world of difference between an idea and a ‘good idea’, so even more pressure, right?

In light of the above, I asked the wonderful people of Twitter’s #WritingCommunity how they get their story ideas. I received 60 responses and it was a joy to read them as there were many excellent suggestions. You can read the thread here. I’ve copied out the best ones below. Enjoy! I hope you find inspiration !

  • @StephMarieAllen ¬ I like to look up one sentence prompts in my chosen genre. When I find one that sparks, I alter it and change it until I’m fired up.
  • @Kristen_Howe – My ideas come from a variety of resources: TV, books, movies, real life events, music, etc. Mostly it’s from my Muse in my dreams. Try meditating and see if it works.
  • @mhthaung – Start with a setting and people with distinct characteristics, and brainstorm how they might react under unfamiliar pressure.
  • @featherdagger0 – Read, read, read. Fill your mind with imagery. I find that if I don’t make time to read fiction, I have a very hard time writing.
  • @SStaatz – I keep a document of ideas and usually meat grind several of them into pop culture sausage of a novella.
  • @serialsemantic – The initial idea is the trickiest bit but once it’s planted it grows. Mine usually stem from a setting – somewhere that tickles my imagination – a building, a scene or even an unusual object.
  • @BoisjolieChase – I get my ideas from taking walks. I think to myself that everyone I pass on the street has a story to them, EVERYTHING does, as well (SOMEONE had to install every window, right?) then I just let my imagination run wild with assumptions and go from there.
  • @hongkonggraeme – Two novels – The first came from my own life, the second prompted by a real person I wanted to write about. But in both when I sat down to write, those initial ideas receded and for me it is the act of writing itself that generates ideas.
  • @EmptySeatsNovel – I get mine from my life experiences, and from the people I meet. Observe people and pick up cues from what you overhear. Look around you; the stories are there.
  • @merelecroix – Many of my ideas spring from dreams, but nearly an equal number are random. Occasionally, a milieu idea captures my imagination even though I don’t have a story for it. In the process of worldbuilding, I find the characters, events–the story.
  • @seanbawhite – It takes one idea at a time. My short story idea didn’t sound so good, and later it turned into a book idea, which turned into a series idea. I get my ideas from nowhere. I read as much as I can and when I write it’s really easy to be creative because of my reading experience.
  • @GoPower27 – Life. Watch. Listen. Observe. Something will spark you!
  • @minibee1010 – I trawl social media.
  • @DanaLemaster – I’m a voracious reader and talk to a lot of people. If you view life as the raw material for stories, they’ll be easier to find. Start a list of ideas. The one that starts living in your head is the one for your novel.
  • @Devon_Tyler_ – My story ideas usually come from me wanting to say something and/or inviting people to look at something in a different way. Sometimes it also starts with a character.
  • @tracyachabala – Mine just pop in my brain from nowhere. If I try to consciously figure them out, they go nowhere. I take a walk or something and then BAM, the idea figures itself out. Engaging other forms of creativity…(esp) dance, music, drawing, or even puzzles will fire up your ideas!!
  • @SarahWynne25 – My first was from a picture, second from a book, third from a #vss365 prompt and last from a TV program.
  • @ErinSpaulding10 – Usually I get inspired by events happening around me everyday.
  • @charity_rue – Life. I may read an article about something, over hear a conversation or even a complaint from my husband. Inspiration is everywhere, you just need to be open to the possibilities.
  • @n2thedarkness – My ideas just pop up at the most random times. I could be in the airport and something would pop in my head. But not all of them are good. I write them down anyways.
  • @sianbclaven – I peruse covers and sometimes one grabs me and I get the story from there. Other times I have weird conversations with my friends that develop into stories.
  • @Skovranov – When I struggle like this I sometimes combine 2 or more writing prompts and/or 2 or more unrelated things all together & at least for me, something unusually awesome gets born everytime. I don’t believe in trash ideas or weak synopsis. They are just parts waiting for their match.
  • @janebean103 – My first novel started out as a series of linked short stories. The characters got to me and wouldn’t leave me alone.
  • @RobertKennedym2 – Life experiences.
  • @Gemma_White_ – Think about what you like to read, and work in that vein/genre.
  • @drew_siobhan – I challenge myself with contests that have very tight deadlines (for example, this weekend I’m doing a flash fiction competition – 1000 words in 2 days). Nothing like a bit of pressure!
  • @TalesNorth – Read the newspapers. Some stories are so crazy they deserve to be told in a book.
  • @AuthorR_Tucker – A person(s), observation, or event clicks a logical and/or emotional impulse that says “I can become a novel.”
  • @phatrat1982 – What I do is I create a blank Word document. I write down a list of ideas then I print it off and circle the ones I am most interested in. Then I narrow it down and then just start a project and see where it goes.
  • @TeryleWrites – I have dreams…I know, that sounds nutty, but before you go to sleep, ask yourself “What story do I need to tell?” Your unconscious mind knows what you need to write. I get these dreams unasked for. The plot unfolds from there often with more dreams or daydreams.
  • @na_davenport – I get ideas just by thinking “what if?” about lots of things. There are also a lot of writing prompts in Pinterest if you’re stuck.
  • @tamarahtoday – Read fiction, but also read poetry. Sometimes a single well-written line just sets something off in me. Look at art, make Pinterest inspiration boards of things you find appealing.
  • @frazier918 – I’m usually at work and see something then think, that would make a good story. Something may trigger an idea that pops in my head when watching a movie. I write it all down.
  • @NatJeanM – Ideas come to me all the time. They seem to appear from artwork, anime, movies/TV. Sometimes it’s a character that pops into my head and I struggle to find the right plot. Other times it’s the opposite I have a plot but struggle with the characters.
  • @Kpink88 – I’ve had some pretty good ideas from using prompts & free writing.
  • @jeffrey_sass – Most of my ideas usually slap me in the shower or when I’m sleeping. Most of the time it’s just thinking about anything but writing.
  • @sablehawk – I like to work my villain. She makes her plan and succeeds. Now, can our hero stop her? How will the drama occur?
  • @EsotericQuality – Do what @TonyRobbins recommends. Write as many ideas as you can in 5 minutes. From there, pick the best one.
  • @nissenson – A number of ways: a couple of prompts (for a class) developed into full blown novels. My current WIP grew out of a sensation while flying. Another inspired by the library I grew up with (great setting).
  • @kvpeckwriter – Eavesdrop. Someone will say something you find funny or gross and you can build a story around it.
  • @ChrisKnoblaugh – I write historical horror for tweens. Unfortunately, history provides plenty of fodder.
  • @thegreenheron – Are there any ideas or themes you’d like to explore? That’s where I start to brainstorm.
  • @kvpeckwriter – Retell a fairytale or myth in modern or future time or with flipped genders. Find photographs. When one strikes you, say what lead to that moment and what will happen.
  • @kvpeckwriter – I read about science discoveries; sometimes a smell teases a story; sometimes a picture; once a dare.

@BarelyBookish provided a useful link to her blog:
“I have a few short scenes that serve as writing inspiration for free on my site. Here’s the link, I hope they inspire you! https://barelybookish.com/category/scenes/ … If that’s not your jam I also look at Pinterest.”

And final words from @prospero1501:
“Three things to remember about story ideas:
They can strike anytime, anywhere.
If you don’t write them down as soon as they strike, you will likely forget them forever.
Not all the ideas will be good.”

Please tell me your thoughts in the comments below!

Where to get great story ideas? Twitter responds.
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3 thoughts on “Where to find great story ideas? Twitter’s response.

  1. I am one I guess that never runs out of ideas. I’m as personal blogger, mental health, overcoming challenges and erotica.
    I would suggest going to Quora.com and checking out the trending questions and get your ideas there.

    Good luck!

  2. This was an excellent post and week thought out! I’m one of those that just writes about what is in my mind at the time, no shortage of topics and I’m a personal Blogger that touches on living with mental health disorders, living domestic violence and how to stop being a victim and become a survivor, shame stigma of homelessness, relationship struggles,b lonliness, fear of dying, overcoming life’s challenges and tragedies, bring brought up by a Narcissistic mother, managing ADHD daily-anxiety-depresion-hyperfocus moments unmedicated, etc… I appreciate your post!!
    I’m leaving my info on your post for a return follow, Comment and RT. Thanks I appreciate you!!!

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