Story Ideas and Where to Find Them

One question that most writers get asked is “how did you come up with the idea for that story?” Some get ideas from dreams, some from an incident they experienced or witnessed. Others struggle in front of a blank page until something comes to them.

One very good source is the news, either in print or on TV. Look at the title of the stories in the paper or listen to your favorite broadcast. Below are some article titles from a local paper:

  • Bad Storm Cripples City: you could write about someone stuck in the storm who rushed out on a argument. They skid on black ice, land in a ditch on a deserted stretch of back country road.
  • Managers Lose Jobs: you could write about corruption uncovered, embezzlement discovered, revenge, wrongful conviction.
  • Major Drug Bust: you can write about the apprehension of an elusive drug boss who turns out to be the guy next door.

These are just a few of the headlines from the paper. Listen to the news on TV and draw ideas from the stories that interest you. Make up characters, build a new world for them then answer these questions as you create your story outline.

  • What will happen?
  • When will it happen?
  • Where will it happen?
  • Why will it happen?
  • Who will it happen to?
  • How does it happen?

Let your imagination fly; even it it makes no sense, write it down. Turn off your inner editor and get the first draft done. I find the news to be a treasure trove of story starters since I lean towards the murder/mystery/romantic/suspense blend of genres.

To your writing sucess,


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