Ideas For Writing A Book – Author’s Inspiration

How To Find Book Ideas

There’s oodles of advice on the internet and elsewhere about planning a novel’s structure and analysing everything from plot to characters,  but where does the original idea for writing a book come from? Does it arrive in a flash of inspiration or the result of hard work and brainstorming?

By all accounts, it seems to be a combination of both – this is the real world folks, nothing is black or white! The good news is that the process doesn’t have to be one way or the other. The craft of writing adapts nicely to every author’s whim.

Personally, I think the first seed of the idea does indeed come in a flash, which is then finely tuned by asking those ‘what if’ questions around that first basic scrap of inspiration. A famous author once said:

‘Inspiration is for amateurs. Professionals get to work!’

It sounds a bit brutal, but that’s about the size of it. Once you think about a possible idea that just might grow into a great book, you need to work on it, organise your thoughts and approach it like a boss.

How To Get Ideas For Writing A Book – One Author’s Perspective

Alice Ozeman

Video transcript:

Hello everyone. I’ve decided as some of you may know to start a little series on my Youtube channel called ‘How to write a book’, (remembering that there isn’t one way to write a book) and essentially everything I say you can actually ignore, because you can just do what you want!

I get a lot of questions about writing books because I’m an author. I’ve written two books. I got published and I was quite young, and people starting writing, just want a bit of advice and I thought I could just address like every little part of writing a book in just a series of videos.

A simple series of videos definitely not, so when I keep getting asked the same questions I can just link them to videos instead of having to explain the same thing over and over again. On Tumblr a question I get asked a lot is ‘how do I come up with ideas?’ and that’s like the very first point you will be at before starting a book, especially if you want to write a book but you just don’t have an idea.

I mean, sometimes you have the idea at first and you’ll be like ‘that would be a good idea for a book’ I’m going to go write bit but sometimes a lot the time you just feel like I want to write something but you don’t have any ideas. So I’m gonna talk a little bit about coming up with ideas.

Book Writing Coach Lisa TenerThis is a whiteboard. Yes, I have a whiteboard. You know, just seeing and talking on YouTube is fine but is anyone else, like, obsessed with whiteboards? I actually love whiteboards. Every moment in school when I got to write on the whiteboard just made my day.

I just made this word, I mean I’ve had a real thing about this, and I think there are three main things that you need to consider if you want to try and come up with an idea. The first one, which apparently is red, and I have three colors for the three different things.

I know this is ‘Wow’, this is YouTube to the max everyone. The first thing that you should consider is inspiration. Gonna write it down. Sorry about – my oh god! I just forgot how to spell. Okay, so satisfying, sound inspiration when you’re coming up with ideas, only if you can’t come up with ideas.

If you don’t have any ideas, you want to try and get inspired by something, because the thing is about ideas is that there’s no such thing as an original idea. Every single idea you have will be influenced by things that you have seen in your life.

Anything from things have happened to you, people you’ve met, things that you’ve done, TV shows you’ve seen – literally anything that you have experienced in your life that is going to influence the ideas that you have.

And that’s why originality doesn’t exist. Yeah, it can be quite hard to find inspiration because inspiration in its nature tends to be quite a spontaneous thing. It tends to be this moment of, like, I’m inspired, rather than you like you can’t just force it to happen.

But I think there are several ways to kind of go out of your way to try and get inspired and in my opinion that’s mostly kind of experiencing new things. Personally, if I’m lacking inspiration I like to do things like go to the cinema and see your film I haven’t seen.

Or go to the theater and see a play I haven’t seen. Maybe listen to a new album that people have been talking about and I haven’t listened to yet. Basically, for me, it’s just kind of consuming other people’s art and that usually inspires me to think of things.

Find ideas for your next bookLet’s add that to a bubble map shall we? Consuming art. That sounds like I want to eat a painting. That can be a metaphor for something. Yes, good and there’s lots of other things that can inspire you. Like as I said, things in your life life experiences.

You don’t have to wait around for something dramatic to happen to you, because dramatic things happening to you are quite rare, but you can think about if you want to write this sort story. You could think about, you know, things that have affected you in your life.

Things that have made you feel deep emotions and a good sound. Yeah and those can all kind of feed into your ideas and inspire you to want to write them down. Because writing is a form of emotional expression for many people, so that could be good.

So to summarize, yeah those are like, for me, those are the two main things but obviously inspiration can just come from anywhere. So you know, be open to pretty much anything. If something makes you feel something, think about why it makes you feel that way and think about whether it would be a good and fun thing to put in a story.

Then good – one thing down. You can go down, the red pin. Okay, so the second thing um leads on quite well from inspiration and yes this is going to be the blue pen everyone. That wasn’t as satisfying. Blue pen is disappointing so far.

The second thing that I think is good for coming up with ideas is thinking about purpose. Strong word – very good. Look, we’re getting some nice colors now. Very very nice indeed. So what I mean by purpose is just having a think about, you know, you want to write a book.

You know you love writing. You want to write but you don’t have the idea. Purpose is figuring out why you want to write a book and think like and from that what sort of book would you want to write. I think the ‘why’ is quite important personally, because there are so many different reasons why someone would want to write a book.

Which is why there are so many different genres of fiction. For example, the person who wrote, James Joyce who wrote Ulysses, probably had a very different reason for writing a book than E.L. James, who wrote 50 shades of grey.

Get list of ideas for a bookBut they both wrote a book. They just both had very different reasons. There’s two very odd examples I chose there. Then probably thinking about why they wanted to write the book, that the type of book that I wanted to write was probably a very big part of figuring out what actually happens in their books.

So you want to write. You need to find your purpose. So from some examples, some people write because they want to explore a theme which is one of my big reasons for writing. Like in solitaire, I explore isolation and loneliness and feeling like different from other people and then in radio silence I explored like school stress and kind of expectation.

You might also want to write a book to express a message and to kind of teach people about something not in life a preacher a but just in a edge sort of educational way. Like I immediately think of only ever yours by Louise O’Neill, which I’m sure Louise wrote.

I mean, maybe it’s a bit presumptuous. I don’t know why anyone writes what they do, but I’m sure Louise wrote that because she wanted to teach people about feminism and about women like having rights over their own bodies and things like that.

So yeah but you know those took two quite serious things. People might also want to write books because they want to give people fluffy warm feelings. Like you know, if you write a very cute romance novel.

Create book topic ideasThat’s not really exploring any deep themes but you’ve still got a purpose for doing that because you’re letting the reader feel lots of nice warm feelings. So yeah, have a sit down, think about, you know, you want to write book but think about the why.

Why do you want to write and then leaving on from that, what would that entail? What to genre would that mean? What characters would you need? What setting would you need to explore? That cool, t nice little flow chart. Now we’ve got bubbles. We’ve got a flow chart and Mr. McCauley from Rochester Grammar School would be proud.

One last thing – I’ve left the whole half the board to do this. I’m not, I’m gonna try and fill up the board third and final thing is brainstorming. This green pen. All right everyone, the green pen is disappointing and I can’t fit the full word brainstorming on the whiteboard.

Just a disappointing final round everyone. That is weak, weak. The final thing I want to talk about brainstorming. Coming up with a book idea , it’s not gonna happen immediately. I mean, you can get that spark of inspiration, you can get like a sudden idea for a character or a theme or a be even a plot line, but you can’t come up with a full book plan in just like in one night.

I mean if you can, good well done. Why are you watching this video? I mean, if you don’t brainstorm, even if it’s just happening in your head, I don’t really know how you would write a book unless you brainstormed.

idea for a novelAnd so if you don’t know what brainstorming means (I’m sure you do) it just means just coming up with loads and loads of different ideas but miniature ideas. Coming up with loads of these little miniature ideas. Images, words, phrases, quotes and just collecting them all.

That’s right. Words, images, phrases. Wow, I mean this is top quality education. My handwriting is really deteriorated. I’m blaming this pen. Words, images, phrases and quotations. So brainstorming is so much fun. Like you can pretty much do it any way you want.

You could do it like this. You could do a bubble map, loads of bubble maps. You could just get a notebook and write down loads of words and ideas in a notebook and I tell you what is fun. What I always do is I make an inspiration blog like a Tumblr.

I just I collect images on Tumblr. I also make playlists, that’s a good form of brainstorming. So just anything that kind of spurs your imagination. Let’s give you some examples. Here we’ve got playlists ,notebooks, Tumblr – just Tumblr or you could use like Pinterest.

I’d never use Pinterest. I don’t really know like what Pinterest does. I think it’s like move boards. Oh bubble maps, I’ll try and show you some examples or I’ll insert them here, some images of my brainstorming methods. But this needs to go in a bubble continuity everyone.

And oh one more thing about brainstorming – important! You need to give it time. Don’t feel frustrated if you start brainstorming and you don’t immediately have a book idea. Just keep brainstorming . Keep working on those ideas and eventually something will just click.

That was a weak click. Ideas don’t arrive fully formed and complicated in your head. Plots don’t arrive fully formed complete in your head. Neither do characters. Everything starts small. So hopefully I’ve given you some starting points.

At least for me, those are kind of the three main things I think help me come up with ideas but as is the motto. I’ve decided in this series, you don’t have to listen to a single thing I say because writing is art and art is subjective and you can pretty much do whatever you want.

Okay I hope this is helpful. I’ll be back soon with the next one, which i think is gonna be on hold on. I’m gonna check planning. Let me know if this was helpful. Let me know if the whiteboard was a success. I think it was and I’ll see you in the next video. We’ll talk about planning. It’s gonna be good, yeah. Bye.

Book Ideas For Teenage Writers

Book ideas for teenage writers thinking

Today we’re going to be talking about creating your very first fictional book. We’re not going to be talking about nonfiction as much as fiction today but you can still use some of the key plot points and some of the key ideas in a non-fiction writing. Let’s hop straight into it with step number one.

Step number one it’s simply having an idea. If you don’t have an idea, you don’t have a story. An idea can be as simple as a little boy trying to make ends meet by getting money and having to live in this house where all these terrible and crazy things happen to him.

Anyways, as long as you have an idea you kind of have a base to go off of. Make sure this idea is completely original and completely yours. It can take inspiration and some ideas from other books or other movies that have inspired you.

But if it’s about a teenage girl who shoots the bow and has to compete in games to live for her life or win to save her life, it’s not going to sell, because it’s already been done. It was a fantastic book that everybody already knows about.

Youtube Channel

Video Transcript (cont’d)

Your characters are the heart and soul of your book. If you don’t have characters that people know about, or characters that people can’t relate to and you don’t expand on them, people aren’t going to know what you’re talking about.

You have to have rather a much likeable character and somebody who actually can experience human emotions, or you have to have something that’s devious and evil. Somebody that you can get to know really well and you just want them to fight. It just has to be somebody who is believable and can actually make a good story great.

Your character is very important to your story. If don’t have one, you don’t have a story. He can be extremely simple or you can make it the most complex person ever. Make sure that they are unique though. If they’re just an average day boy who just walked home and plays video games every single day after school and nothing exciting happens in his life, I don’t want to read about him.

But if it’s this kid who was the world champion video games lord, master of all, I might want to know about that. I might want to know about his rise to a success in the gaming industry. His rises and his Falls and his terrible home life, or his great success and his rich parents. It could be whatever, as long as he’s an interesting and unique individual, I want to know about him

List of ideas for a book for a teenage authorStep number three – your world. It can be set in just a normal modern day society like we live in today, or it could be a world where people have to fight for their lives with swords and crossbows.

Oh my gosh! Why am I talking so much about the Hunger Games? It wasn’t even supposed to be about the Hunger Games, or there can be a Gers that roam the streets at night and destroy homes and are terrible and drooling at the mouth.

You can have all these different aspects about this cute world that you create. It can be just a normal world or it can be a completely unique one. This is where you kind of have a little bit of creativity.

Step four – you have your character, you have an idea and you have your world. Now what you’re thinking to yourself is ‘what comes next?’ , or you know exactly what comes next. Your plotline – take away a little section of your day or just set aside some time some other day to create your plotline.

If you don’t know to plot, I’ll show you just a second but I’m going to explain it to you. A plotline is what’s going to happen in your book. It’s the events that are going to occur and it’s just a very loose outline of all the stuff that you want to happen from chapter 1 to chapter 999.

But you need to have some section in between there if, you know how your story is going to start and you know how it’s going to end. what’s going to happen in the middle. Take some time to sit down and think ‘oh yeah, my main character is going to go on a quest somewhere around here.

He’s going to meet some other character somewhere around here, gonna do all these other things from here to here, and you’ve got a story, you have your outline. You know what your story is going to be about. You know how it’s going to end and you know some of the characters that you’re going to introduce.

Book topics to write about for young writersOnce you have an outline you can expand on it and you can actually start to explore different areas and different aspects of each one of your characters. Each one of the events, their past stories and all these little things that make it more believable, and much more enjoyable to read, so this is what a basic story plotline looks like.

You have your exposition, which is to start and introduction to most of your characters, and if it’s not most of your characters it’s usually your main character introduced at this point. The main dilemma is resist rising action is when he goes out and he goes and does something and you starts to experience some of these little events.

The climax is the most exciting part of your book. It’s the real go-getter. It draws people in. It’s the most action that happens. Following action is when stuff starts to cool down. Just opposite of rising action, stuff starting to get revealed.

Everybody’s just kind of winding down end of the story. In The Hunger Games after Katniss Way and you know, falling action, conclusion, how the story will end it, depends on kind of your outlook on your book.

If you’re planning on going into another sequel, if it can set up another question which will go straight into another exposition and another plotline, that would be drawn in right around there. Like over to the site of the conclusion but it can set up for another book or to resolve everything in this little area or can leave your readers to wonder what happens next.

I think that I’m just going to say it really quick because I talked about a lot in this video already. Originality – just like The Hunger Games thing you want it to be completely original. Don’t try and steal from other people. Plagiarism isn’t good. Just make it yours. Everybody’s creative in one way or the other. Find your own specific way that you like to write your books.

You like to draw your pictures. Find your own different way that sets you apart from everybody else and people will rather love you for it or hate you for it. but guess what? If it’s yours, it’s yours and you should be proud of it.

Step 6. Remember the sets aren’t in any really particular order, but it is really nice to follow them in order because it has a very nice flow to them, but step 6 can go anywhere in here. Once you have your plot lines kind of drawn out you want to have some sort of mystery or suspense element in it to keep your readers interested.

Because if you have the greatest first chapter ever, and then all your answers are figured out in your first first couple paragraphs, people aren’t going to want to know about what happened to your character’s father after his mysterious disappearance, because it’s explained in the first chapter.

You don’t exactly have a hook. You don’t have something to draw people in and make them want to continue reading. It’s not saying that has to be a huge reveal at the end but something to keep your readers intrigued with your ideas.

Step 7 is your hook. This goes at the very beginning of your book. You can have a prologue in there if you want, if you want to explain some stuff. It’s completely up to you. Prologue or optional bio, you’ll find them extremely helpful. If you have a hook it will draw readers in. It will get them stuck on your book.

It’ll make them want to finish your book. It will make them want to read more and more and more. It can set up a mystery or consent of a terrible chain of events that are about to occur. A hook is something that when your readers open up your book and it’s the first couple of sentences, that they read and they know right off the bat that they want to finish your book because they need to know the answers.

It makes your readers care about your book. It makes them want to know what happens. It makes them feel for each one of your characters and it makes them just anticipate and needing to know what’s going to happen in the next couple of chapters.

Book ideas to write tipsStep 8 one of the most important steps of all, and this isn’t really set at all, it goes throughout every single one of the prior steps. But it’s everything that you are about to make is completely yours and even if it’s bad and even if people don’t want to read it, it should be proud that it’s yours. You should be extremely happy that you were able to accomplish something like this.

My first ever book that I wrote and got it in like a nice little cover and stuff like that. What’s more, in five years when I went back and I and I reread it, I laughed so hard and it was such a good memory.

It was me going back and exploring my terribly put together characters in my loosely written plotline but it was it was so much fun. No matter what you write today, you’re gonna like it for the rest of your life.

You will look back on it and you will say ‘wow, I did something that a lot of people don’t ever accomplish’ because what you write is yours and you should be proud of that, no matter what. Step eight is just you are completely original and you should be proud of that.

Okay some bonus advice that you should probably take – don’t over populate your town or your city or just your main character pool. If you have 999 characters it will be extremely difficult to emotionally connect to each one of those characters. If you want to have some background characters, that is completely fine.

I need to know some characteristics about him as well but if it’s 50 different people and I need to know a little bit about each one of them, so I know how they contribute to the story it’s going to take up a lot of space and I don’t have the mental capacity to keep up with all of those new characters that you bring in.

Background characters are fine and if you want to introduce nine characters, and then have those nine characters extremely important, and you can capitalize on each one their emotion, a little bit of each chapter until the end of your book, that is fine … another bonus little thing for you guys to hold on to is you don’t need to write every single day of your life, but it is important that you get a little bit done at a time at least.

If you can only spare the time to write 100 words per day then that’s completely fine. If you can only spare the time to write a thousand words a week and that’s fine. But if a person sayts you have to write five trillion words a minute if you ever want to become successful, don’t listen to them!

If you have the original idea and you have the go-get-’em attitude and you can get a little bit done at a time whenever you have a spare second, then you’re going to be completely fine. As long as you’re thinking about ideas and writing them down in the notebook, or just taking mental snapshots of all things you want to happen in your book, and how you want to expand on it the next time you have a free second to write.

So that’s perfectly fine as long as you get your book done. It’s a huge accomplishment and stay motivated to get it done, no matter what. Well that wraps up my little segment about how to get your book kind of outlined and started to write and how to stay motivated kind of throughout.

And if you liked it, please leave a like. If you have any questions about me, or about anything that I’ve written or any questions about your future writing that I hope to hear about someday, please leave them in the comment section below.

Book ideas for teenage writers