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Ask yourself which novels or films have given you the most enjoyment, changed your view of the world, or impacted you most profoundly? Then look over your list and ask yourself what these stories have in common. So pay attention to what your favourite stories have in common, even if they appear to be different genres. What type of people do you like to read stories about? What lessons do the characters in them learn or fail to learn?
Instead, look for writing ideas you can be passionate about – ones that are meaningful to you, that you will have fun working with, that you can feel proud to have written. are very different types of stories, even though they can both be categorized as science fiction. Notice if your favourite protagonists face similar kinds of problems.
One way to open your mind up to great novel writing ideas is to think about stories other people have written that you have felt most passionate about. A whodunit or a quest can be set in ancient Egypt or on the planet Mars. What kinds of personal difficulties or external threats do they struggle with? revenge, rescue, love, freedom, understanding, acceptance, wealth, discovering the truth, reevaluating their past, healing a relationship, winning a war, coping with change, attaining wisdom, fulfilling a dream, coming of age, finding meaning, protecting the weak and innocent, rediscovering their zest for life, to name just a few). What values do your favourite stories concern themselves with?
2) “…arrives in post-WWII Vienna…” Instead of this setting, what if the story took place in a small town in the old West? What if the friend who was waiting for the writer turned out to be an imposter and the real friend is elsewhere for some reason? Heck, they could be art collectors, zoo keepers, film students, physicists, anything at all. The original story seems to be a murder mystery or thriller.
4) “The ensuing mystery entangles him in his friend's involvement in the black market…” What if the friend isn’t involved with the black market but with a group of former SS officers? 5) “…with the multinational police…” What if instead of the police being involved, the police refuse to get involved for some nefarious reason? However, I could certainly put a romance into it (perhaps between the writer and his friend’s girlfriend).
While you reflect on your favourite stories, you may even discover (to your surprise or horror) that the things that matter most to you are not what you thought they were. The more honest you can be with yourself, the better writer you will be. There’s more than one way to prime a pump or persuade your muse to generate a stream of novel writing ideas. You can find these on book jackets, TV listings, or movie guides.
The other thing that may happen over several days of pondering your favourite stories is that one of those great writing ideas I mentioned above may pop into your mind. For example, the Internet Movie Database can be a great resource for generating writing ideas.Can you rewrite your new plot summary so that it becomes about a problem or situation that interests you, or a protagonist you can empathize with?For example, I happen to like stories about people with suppressed talents who get their chance to shine.So I could either give her a different reason for going, or I can change the setting to a different period, say the year 2000.Also, if she is sheltered, perhaps she is planning to stay with one of her mother’s old friends (who can keep an eye on her). “A young girl from a sheltered background arrives in Vienna in the year 2000 to stay with an old friend of her mother. However, when she arrives, her mother’s friend is killed under mysterious circumstances.Good writing ideas may be brief, but they will contain something that intrigues you. Feel free to return to the How to Write a Novel page and check out the next article. Here are some easy techniques you can use to will generate a virtually unlimited supply of novel writing ideas... You’re going to live with the characters and the world you create for a long time. Keep in mind that most genres have loose definitions and tend to overlap with other genres, as in historical mystery, science fiction adventure, paranormal romance, etc.For instance, they may take the form of “somebody does something strange or discovers something unexpected.” You, as the writer, are then left with a mystery to ponder. So don’t choose an idea you will get bored with or grow to resent after a while. Stories that are typically lumped in the same genre can also be quite different.Choose summaries that are brief, perhaps one or two sentences at most., because I have never seen the film, so I have no preconceived ideas about it.So, while her parents would like her to come home after the murder, she decides to stay and try to investigate what happened herself. In the above example, the word, “entangles,” is rather vague.So is “mysterious circumstances.” It’s a good idea to change such terms into specific details.