One of the best things about being a writer is the fact that you have the potential to come up with truly unforgettable works. You have the potential to create stories that will stay with your readers for the rest of their lives. You have the potential to touch and change people’s lives with your stories.
But of course, coming up with a truly great story idea is easier said than done. This is because you have a multitude of other writers, and you will have to come up with something truly great and original to make an impact.
Here are 6 handy tips for coming up with great and original story ideas:
- Look to History for great ideas
Not many people equate great stories to history because it is perceived by most people as boring. This is of course a misconception. If you look deep into history, you will find that history is chock full of great story ideas.
You just have to know where to look. Take for example the stories of Alexander the Great, Genghis Khan and Julius Caesar. The three come from different cultures. Alexander hailed from Greece, Genghis Khan was a Mongol and Caesar was Roman.
But what did these men have in common? They lived eventful lives. They were adventurers. They were legends of their times, and a potent source of stories and inspiration.
The same can be said for the great events that occurred throughout history. In truth the recorded events in history are just as potent and interesting as any made up story. So the next time you are trying to come up with an idea, don’t forget to look to your history books.
You might be surprised at what can stir up your creative juices.
- Myths and legends are great sources too
Aside from hitting the history books, you can also try getting your ideas from myths and legends. Since the dawn of man, myths and legends have sprung up in various cultures. And seeing as each culture has its own myths and legends, you technically have a wellspring of ideas to choose from.
A word of caution though if you are going to use myths and legends as a source of story ideas. You should know that myths and legends are technically a staple and has been used by many authors. This is especially true for Greek and Norse myths.
So it is more advisable if you use more obscure myths, that way you will have more unique content to use. You can also look to urban legends as a source.
- Don’t forget to look through your old work
It is also a good idea to look back on your old work. Although you might find this hard to believe, but some of your past works can be very valuable and can be rehashed into great story ideas. So if you have the time, you can just take a look at your past work.
Reread some of the short stories you have written. Look through those old poems you wrote to your childhood sweethearts. Who knows? You may already have come up with a great story idea and just forgot about it.
- Your journal is a great source for ideas
Aside from your old work, you can also try looking through your journal or diary if you have been keeping one. Much like your old work, your journal has the potential to be used as a story idea. Remember that you usually write down your day to day life in your journal.
So in a way your journal is a very vast suppository for your experiences, most of which are quite emotional and introspective. So there is a good chance if you reread your old journals and diaries you will get great story writing ideas.
- Read the classics
If you are looking for great story ideas, you can never go wrong reading the classics. The classics are books that have helped shape the literary landscape and have influenced a multitude of writers through the years. And if you think classic books like Sherlock Holmes, Count of Monte Cristo and Oliver Twist are a bit outdated, then you don’t know what good writing is.
The classics are called classics for a reason. They are books that have withstood the tests of time and are still loved to this very day. So if you want to make your story idea as refined as possible, then it is important that you read the classics.
- Keep an open mind
These tips are all handy and will ultimately help you come up with a great story. But one of the truly key tips you should always remember when coming up with a great story idea, is to keep an open mind. Don’t give your creativity any limiters when it comes to story ideas.
Don’t let fear of ridicule or negative reviews dissuade you from a story idea that you believe is good. If you come up with an idea, and you believe that it is both interesting and worth following through on, then go for it. Remember that fortune will always favor the bold.
So take heart and go for it.