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How to Come up With an Idea for a Story?

Updated on September 22, 2017
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As Sheila became a children's picture book author, she learned neat tricks along the way. She enjoys sharing her success with you!

You Must Overcome Your Writer's Block

Coming up with an idea for a story is not an easy task, especially if you have a writer’s block. You'll need to overcome your writer’s block before ideas can freely flow into your mind.

Brainstorming an idea is huge. All you need is to walk around with a blank piece of paper and a pen and jot down ideas. Another grand idea is to place a writing pad by your bedside. Write down every word that comes to your mind, no matter how silly they seem, even if words come to you in the middle of the night.

Next, analyze your list of words to see if you have a recurring theme. This could be the plot of your story. Investigate the relationship of these inspired words further and try to write a paragraph with these words. Finally, sit down to think and visualize your story in your mind. You must be creative and envision the characters in your mind's eye, while you write your story. If you first think of a title for your story, your task will seem easier.

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First Create a Title for Your Story

It’s simple to come up with a storyline when you create a title for your story. The title will keep you focused on your narrative theme. It'll help you write without over-exertion since the story will course through your mind.

When your creative juices are flowing, it’s easier to transfer your thoughts on paper.

Thinking of a title for your story will also help you to stay focused on your storyline. Whenever your mind begins to drift, your title will pull you back into the reality of your story. You must know who the audience of your story is, and what age group is interested in reading your story.

Stick to a Word Count If You're Writing for Children

If you are writing for children, it's important to stick to a child theme. You wouldn't want children reading inappropriate subject matter. Such a story would not be popular or trendy, since, parents usually monitor everything, their children read anyway.

Read a couple of children’s books to get the essence of a novel idea for a kid's story. Children’s stories are normally not complicated and good stories teach children various lessons about life, health, stress and family life.

For children under five, kid's books normally are at or under a thousand words. Five hundred words are better. Make every word and sentence count. For older children, you can write more up to fifteen hundred to two thousand five hundred words. If you are writing a chapter book for middle school children or teenagers than less than twenty thousand words is optimal.

Remember, to break up your children's book into chapters with interesting chapter titles. And don't forget a picture says a thousand words; therefore, your children's book must be illustrated by a professional. If you are gifted, you may illustrate your own children's books and save yourself heaps of time.

Make Sure Your Story Has a Moving Climax

If you're writing a fiction story for adults, you can think of something funny or sad that happened to you and decide to change the characters or fine-tune the storyline for your grand story. You can also glance through the magazines to jolt your creative senses for your story. You could see something you like that jolts your fancy for writing a story.

To be able to write a story you must generally enjoy writing, or else your effort of writing a story may be met with irritation and frustration. If you don’t enjoy writing, ideas to write a story will be difficult to summon.

You may enjoy telling stories; however, writing it with pen and paper may not be your forte. In such a case, it’s best to plainly record your story on a tape recorder. There you'll vastly enjoy listening to your story on tape. You can play it back for your children or loved ones and friends to share. This will be exhilarating and you'll feel like an author.

If You Can Tell a Good Story, You Can Compose It!

© 2012 Sheila Craan


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  • conradofontanilla profile image

    conradofontanilla 5 years ago from Philippines

    Interesting and useful. I still have to try my hand on a short story.