How to Come Up With Story Ideas

Everybody writes differently. Some writers struggle to find an idea for their next book…others like me, have more ideas than they know what to do with.

If you’re someone who gets stuck for ideas of what to write about, this post is for you.

Here are where some of my best story ideas come from:

  • Things that have really happened to me or to people I know;
  • Memories of people, events or places;
  • People I see on trains and buses;
  • Conversations I overhear;
  • Newspaper articles;
  • Other books;
  • A picture in a magazine;
  • A place I have been to;
  • A smell, sound or feeling;
  • A problem or dilemma being faced by someone I know;
  • Playing with two words that don’t quite go together eg Flower attack;
  • Using the last line of a story I have written as the first line in a new piece of writing;
  • Thinking of a secret that someone might want to keep and what would happen if it was discovered
  • Imagining getting a letter or email from someone I have never met

If I’m still stuck, I think of a character/name and match them with an action to try and get me started.

For example:

  • Ashley fell
  • Ashley twisted
  • Ashley tumbled…
  • Ashley rocketed…
  • Ashley flew…
  • Ashley flopped…
  • Ashley leapt…
  • Ashley shook…
  • Ashley dropped…
  • Ashley shivered…
  • Ashley trembled…
  • Ashley bobbed…
  • Ashley soared…
  • Ashley is…

Then I ask myself why this action happened to Ashley, where this action happened, when and how?


Every story needs a catalyst – an action that starts the story on its course. At the start of your story, something will happen that changes things for the main character.

Every story needs a problem for your character. There is something they want and someone or something is stopping them from getting it. That’s what your story is about.

As a writer, you need to decide how your main character is going to solve their problem – and that’s where you will finish your story.

Where do you get your story ideas from? Please feel free to share with DeeScribe Writing blog readers by commenting at the end of this post.

Happy Writing:)


P.S. Our next writing tips post will be about story beginnings.

6 thoughts on “How to Come Up With Story Ideas

  1. Hi Dee

    If I’m stuck for ideas, I sometimes go somewhere I’ve never been before. It might be to a museum or a building I’ve never been inside. I’ve even been known to browse the What’s On section of the newspaper and just turn up to an unusual event (not too unusual!) and see what it’s like. It’s amazing what story ideas come out as a result.


  2. Whoops, it was from Australian CYA Authors after Sue Whiting. You know how distracting the Internet can be. You start on one page and before you know it, you have travelled miles.

  3. Glad you like my blog, Kayleen:) Thanks for letting me know.

    I totally understand what you mean about the distracting internet.

    I’m glad to hear that you’ll “be back”.

    Happy writing:)


  4. I just love these ideas.
    I always try to find a good story for my blog and write it, and i write everyday a blog, but i never publish it.
    It’s never good enough, and i woud like to publish a new post everyday, but i never write something really interesting.
    So, I am going to use all of your tips!
    I’m sure i can make a good blog with these tips.
    Thank you!

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