Nov 102013

Question by Everything Nice: How to come with up story ideas?
I would like to hear some tips on how to come up with good story ideas.


Best answer:

Answer by Ilya
Read some stories for inspiration.
Philip Pullman said he stole everything from other writers.
I paint and then write what I paint.
Also you could just write and see what comes to you, I do that as well.
Hope this helps.

Add your own answer in the comments!

  8 Responses to “Q&A: How to come with up story ideas?”

  1. Play the “What If?” game. It’s as simple as that.

    What if the future isn’t a pretty place? What if everything’s run by robots? What if humans are slave to the machine? What if the humans rebel? What if the robots create a time travelling cyborg assassin to go back in time and kill off the leader of the rebellion so it never happens?

    Right there. I bet that’s how they came up with Terminator.

  2. I usually wake up with some. I also go walking every other day so when I get out and see nature, my head is free and things float in. I often focus on one thing and it blossoms.

  3. Personally when I listen to music or hear a physiological concept, I get an idea for something I’d like to write.

    Now getting inspired enough to actually begin planning and writing it..that doth require my own intuitive..

  4. It depends on what you are writing. For fantasy ect. use what you dream or what you would like to happen, probably shouldnt read too much of that for inspiration or you will take ideas from others. There are alot of repeated ideas in fantasy, and you may have to step away from it to give an original twist or story. For historic fiction, or such, read some history that interest you and use what if…games to help. For any genre, take ideas or inspirations from your life. look around there are characters everywhere.

  5. Get inspiration from books and movies(but be sure not to copy :))
    Listen to music(this is when i get my best ideas)
    Use dreams
    Play the What-If game with yourself(how i got one of my best story plots)

    But before all of that you should find the genre you want to use(fiction, fantasy, historical, science fiction…etc), what POV you want it to be in(first and third are easiest), decide if you want a male or female main character, decide what time period range you want to write about.

    Once you have those basics you can start brain storming! What i usually do to brainstorm is keep a little notebook just for that story and write down any ideas that come to my mind. You could also take a big, blank sheet of paper and just get your creativity flowing by writing down random ideas you really like for a story :) Hope I could help!

  6. I think the best way is to just write and see where it takes you. Sometimes I start writing a story and the direction it takes is surprising to me. A good place to get some ideas is The Desk Drawer – Writing Exercise Workshop at There are a lot of different ideas, and you can choose to join the community, but you have to submit a piece before you will be allowed to join. You also have to critique more than you submit, but you don’t have to join; you can just do the exercises. I wrote more than one story from the ideas here, mainly from the section that gives you the first line of the story and you make of it what you want. Most times, by the end of the story I changed the first line, but it gave me a starting point.

  7. Well, in one word: Brainstorming!
    See, you can get a story idea through inspiration, but that’s not every writer’s deal (personally, any story I’ve ever tried to write without inspiration was dead and went nowhere, but that’s just me! :D)
    So, brainstorming. There are hundreds of ways to go about it.
    Method 1, randomness: okay, all you need for this method is some paper and a pen. First, write out anything that comes to mind, be it wolves, robots, the future, space, water, squid, etc… Then do it again. And again, until you have a handful of random words. (if they’re things like oregano, rabbits, and fluffy clouds this may not work for you ;)). Once you have a collection of words (lets say you have: water, people, disaster, monster, fish, dark). So, you look at the words and put that writer’s mind to work, asking, how could those things work together to make a story? Maybe you could have a story about an udnerwater civilization who’s people are in danger because of some disaster that affected their home, and there’s a monster lurking in the depths where their city is, and the fish are all dying so they don’t have enough food, and the lights are failing, so soon they’ll be in the dark! IDK, just try to peice it together. If you don’t like this method, use the next.
    Method 2, roll the dice: for this method you need one of those special dice that has all the letters of the alphabet, paper and a pen. Or you could just write all the letters our on little scraps of paper and put them in a hat. Roll (or draw) a letter, then write it down on your peice of paper. Lets say the letter is… S. So, you start coming up with any words you can think of that start with S, and could have something to do with a story! Ex: Save, is there someone who needs saving? Or maybe a place? Skeleton, does someone uncover a skeleton that starts a mystery rolling? Scared, maybe a character has a fear that drives them. Sorry, is an old feud a good central theme for a story? Just brainstorm, and if you already have an idea to go with, this works even better! Lets say you have a fantasy story about a prince who just lost his brother. You roll the die and get F. Start thinking. F for Far. Is the prince far from home? F for Father, is the prince at odds with his dad, the king? Or maybe the prince’s father was not really the king, but someone else, and his mother never told him! (ooh, that’s a good one ;)) Just use the letters to brainstorm.
    Method 3, all you need, again, is some paper and a pen: this one is pretty easy. Sort of. If you have a good imagination. So, first, think of an idea that could work in a story, be it an idea for plot, character, or setting. Ex: plot- recovering a stolen gem, charcter- a rebellious son, setting- Old England. So, then once you have your random idea, work with it. Start building on it. Ask yourself, how could this fit into a story? Build the story idea around it. If you have only a plot idea, then ask yourself, what kind of characters could carry this plot? And, where would this plot work best? Modern times in the States? Ancient times in a made up world? If you have only a character idea, ask yourself: what kind of quest should this character go on? What will affect this character’s life so much that they’re forced to take action (this gets plot rolling), what is it the character is: seeking, trying to protect, retrieve, or escape? If you only have a setting idea, ask yourself: what event could rock this world, what kind of people would you find here, and what would make for an interesting plot?
    Of course, there are more than just 3 methods, but those are 3 that should work. Of course, brainstorming is as simple as just coming up with as many ideas as you can for a story idea. If you have even the slightest idea of what you want to write, be it genre, or specifics for the story, go with it. :) Hope that helped even a little!

    Your Fellow Writer

  8. Usually I think of the “what if” game, or I create my own characters and then eventually come up with a plot for stories, or I just watch people from real life and come up with a story idea from listening to their conversations.

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