RE: How does one come up with ideas for fictions?

If you have an idea of what type of genre or setting you want, but can't seem to think up a plot immediately for the setting or genre, then try to flesh out the world before figuring out what the world is like. However, if you can't think of a premise despite that, then think about what games, tabletop or virtual, you enjoy and see if you can put a twist on them. The 'Gamemaster in another world' story on this site seems to take the idea of the GM of a game and throws him into the world from the game after the Players have all disappeared. Even if you don't end up writing the intended story for the world, you can always place the world into your notes and later use it for another story.

Tanaka and Chiisuto both have good points as well, so watch shows and figure out an end to the story so you have something to work towards as well.

Edit: Story Ideas, with genre

  • The Gods of Earth, long thought to be dead or nonexistent, have reemerged and each (randomly) selected people to be relocated to other worlds to spread their names. <Fantasy World Name> was one such world, forced to struggle against <Protagonist> as (s)he ignores the Gods' wishes and 'tours' the world. Genre: Fantasy

  • Scientist <Sci-Fi Name> has always enjoyed turning well-known concepts upside down for the sake of science. Little did he know that his attempt to make mail travel through both time and space would result in a tear in the fabric of the multiverse, pulling powerful beings from worlds unknown. And then there's <protagonist>, an unfortunate <generic worker> who was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Will he lst through the trials of space life? Will he be killed for unknowingly insulting an intergalactic royal? Genre: Sci-Fi

RE: How does one come up with ideas for fictions?

There's a lot of inspiration out there. Look for sites that prompt you to come up with a story based on a simple idea.

Here's some links you might find useful:

RE: How does one come up with ideas for fictions?

Easy, just go insane like me and you'll have random stories and fantasies gushing out of you like a shaken pop can.

But actually, it really is just reading a lot of stuff that interests you and fantasizing things like, "I wonder what would it be like if I took the powers of this person and mixed with the personality of this person and threw them into this situation."

Daydream about whatever and if you like one idea try to make it logically work into your own original story.

RE: How does one come up with ideas for fictions?

Study anything and everything you notice.
Eating lunch at a cafe? sit in the corner and watch the people around you go about their day.
Noticing something interesting on TV, research it a bit with google.
Read myths and stories.
Read other peoples work.
go to a museum.
Anything can be a trigger for inspiration. Idea's are like fish. Getting one requires luck and hard work. the more lines you put in the water, the more likely you are to get a bite.
Be conscious of what you are observing tho. some people have an instinct for getting inspired, others have to work hard.

RE: How does one come up with ideas for fictions?

I get inspiration from a lot of sources.  I am a bit of a voyeur (the actual definition, not the urban dictionary one).  sometimes I see people walking through the local mall, and something completely unrelated pops into my head, and it gives me the idea.  for instance, I got the initial idea of Ayla, the protagonist of Ayla's Junkyard, when I witnessed a young girl playing frisbee with her dog at a park.  something completely unrelated.

some genres have interesting premises as well, such as Terry Goodkind's Sword of Truth series.  when I first read 'Wizard's First Rule' I believed it was a fantasy novel, wizards, sorceresses, cant forget the confessors, or the dragons.  however, when looking for the novel in a bookstore, it is often in the science fiction section, even though the setting is fantasy.  and that is because the definition of science fiction is embodied by the work:  a simple, basic idea, or behavior, purposely blown out of proportion, for the purpose of making a point about it.  the premise of 'Wizard's First Rule'?  simple:  People Are stupid.  and the book reiterated this multiple times, even blatantly saying it several times, as well as proving it.  the second book continues with this premise, adding on the second rule, so on and so forth, until the last book of this series is showing how the protagonist has broken every one of the rules, simply because of his actions in the first two books when he wasn't aware of them.

Inspiration can come from all over the place.  listening to a classical piece, such as Paganini's Caprice 24 may inspire you to create a story about a bard, or at the same time, the piece may inspire nothing in you at all.  finding unusual things in history may give you an idea about something to write about, Steampunk work usually (not always) comes from the question 'What if Electricity was illegal?"  stemming from the ghastly experiments of the 1920's when Edison was attempting to prove AC power was dangerous, thank goodness he didn't get the lawmakers to ban it outright when he electrocuted an elephant on Times Square.

RE: How does one come up with ideas for fictions?

When writer's block hits me, I turn to the "I could have told it better" idea. A particular story within a genre you really like falls flat on its face? Could you have done it better? Take the main idea behind the story (find the treasure, defend the town from the necromancer - whatever it may be) and do it.

Obviously the idea isn't to plagiarize, but most stories we tell have had parts of them told in other stories long before ours. Avatar, for example, is basically Dances with Wolves, is basically Pocahontas, just set in space. Yet it ensures it differs in enough ways to stand on its own, internet arguments aside.

You can borrow things from sources you love, but I've always liked borrowing from something that disappointed me and trying to outdo it. After all, the point is to overcome idea-block, as OP put it, so why not start with an extant idea? It doesn't have to be something you publish, either - sometimes it just serves to work on a piece that gets the creative juices flowing, to get you back on track with your own ideas.

RE: How does one come up with ideas for fictions?

Personally speaking, I read the synopsis from other fictions, get excited thinking of the possibilities, then get disappointed with the actual execution, then write my own "the way it should have been" of that particular synopsis. Like this, I come up with way too many ideas. I have like 8 different prologues on gdocs for various ideas of mine.

For example, I remember reading this synopsis for a guy who solves mysteries with his mysterious luck based ability. Bought it, then found out that they almost entirely ditched the luck based concept right from the start and turned it into a harry potter clone. So I wrote a prologue about a guy who's part leprechaun and has uncontrollable greed. I wrote the start so the guy gets asked for help with some groceries from an old woman. The guy knows what will happen if he touches those groceries, so he tries to refuse, but his girlfriend won't let him. So all of a sudden he takes the groceries and starts parading around in front of the old woman about how they're his now. None of this is in his control, it's just his leprechaun DNA acting up.

RE: How does one come up with ideas for fictions?

read some writing prompts, ones from The Fake Redhead and Writing Prompts on Tumblr are some really good examples, they can give you ideas about what you can possibly write.

Also, aside from writing prompts, try to find a genre of story that you like first, then, based on that genre try to imagine scenes happening around you. For example if you like sci-fi, try to imagine your surroundings as futuristic. Based on that image on your mind, try to think of a sub-genre, and based on that, imagine something interesting happening, (e.g. thriller-- a pod crashes right in front of you) now you're almost there, next pick another sub-genre, for example romance, (e.g. 'as you walk towards the pod, a man/woman/other comes out of it, grabs your hand and says "Hurry it's not safe here, come with me"). now lastly, go back yo your main genre and create a conflict or problem based on it. in this case, it could be an alien invasion, corrupt government trying to kill you, rogue A.I or just for the heck of it, space ninjas.

And now you have a plot. I don't know if this will work for you, but it does for me.

RE: How does one come up with ideas for fictions?

It depends on what you mean by "good idea." Most of mine are terrible! :)
In all seriousness, I get inspiration everywhere. Most of the time, it's from my own problems and my family; sometimes, it comes when I people-watch and wonder, "What would happen if that lady wearing a bright pink headband and tie-dye pants and a superhero walked into a corporate office at the same time?" or "Who is that guy waiting for and why are his headphones broken?" Other times, ideas come when I read other people's stories and something feels...unexplored. Like, I read all these dystopian novels and had an idea for a book wherein the government was good and the rebellions were fundamentally misguided instead of the other way around. Or, on a TV sitcom, what would a day in the life of a dystopian government official be like?
I guess my advice is, ask lots of questions. About the world around you, about the people around you, about the stories around you, about your life. And if you can't find an answer you like--write about it.
When I have trouble coming up with ideas I will often have my brother take a walk with me and just talk it over. He will usually just listen to me, and then give a ridiculous suggestion that will not help, but just talking it over will often help me know what to write next. So maybe if there is someone that you can share your writing that could help you.
Another thing that might help, this one I actually read in Gail Carson Levine's book 'Writing Magic,' is sit down and write down twelve ideas however silly they may be there might be something helpful there. She also suggested that if you have a specific problem that you do not know how to solve you write it down and then put it up somewhere that you can see it often, and after that try not to think about it. She said that this would often work for her although it could sometimes take several days.

RE: How does one come up with ideas for fictions?


Though seriously, steal them. Take a few things you are enjoying at the moment and mash them together. Doesn't matter what it is as we aren't looking for specifics. Right now off the top of my head I have the line of a song I can't remember the name of which goes "one winged girl makes a sound that sounds like singing" (that might not even be the correct wording), Just finished rereading Stellar Transformation, and I am watching someone stream the game Factorio. From that let's take the winged lady who from the sounds of it can't actually speak, (I could take cultivation but that might not be your jive so instead) Tiered universe you can ascend or descend through, and being stranded in a hostile location while trying to build a way off it. With that we have enough fodder to make a few different stories depending on how we take each element.

A mortal man stranded in a higher realm away from his family with his only companion being a native 'angel'. With the only thing in his favor being the advanced mechanical knowledge the likes of which the heavens have never seen before as they focus on personal power and magic. Will he be able to tear asunder the dimensional boundaries to go home and if he does will he want to?

*Swoosh* What a melodramatic sound for the thing that has thrown our team away from all they knew. After a magitech experiment into the nature of time and space goes horribly wrong a small group of scientists are now trapped in a lower realm unknown to all. This land of mortals lacks the magic all their knowledge and technology depends on so how will they be able to ascend back to their home? Will they be able to before they lose all their magic and no longer be able to? And what of their lovely leader who depended on a magitech device to even speak, now rendered mute and unable to take command like is needed?

Some people would say their childhood sweetheart was the loveliest. Everyone but our MC would be lying though. He knows that his was. All because from the highest realm the God of Gods descended and stole his away as "only I deserve the fairest of all the realms". Now in a race against time our hero must gain power and ascend from realm to realm reaching ever higher for a time limit is upon him. His only advantage being his preternatural ability at crafting. If he doesn't save her within 100 years she will forever be turned into one of the mindless angel singers in the eternal choir as her very essence is being slowly stripped from her soul. Can he make it in time and if he does will he be able to take on the God who even other gods worship?
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