Don’t wait for an amazing idea to hit before starting to write.
While some authors are capable of conjuring spontaneous epiphanies from thin air, the process for the rest of us mortals begins by writing about anything and expanding on that concept along the way.
Here are some topic suggestions to get you started (since getting started is the most crucial step)! And if you want to steal them, you can. They are yours! We give you our blessing.
Artistic tips for fiction authors
Here are 30 ideas for fiction authors who want to touch their audience’s hearts and minds:
- An updated version of a well-known narrative
The tales that have stood the test of time all have one thing in common: a universal message that has resonated with generations of readers. An old favorite may be brought back to life with a new take on the characters and location, making it relevant for today’s readers. If you need some inspiration, check out this collection of Shakespeare-inspired books, or simply rewatch Clueless.
- Make your biggest dream a reality.
People’s imaginations may be extraordinarily imaginative, even if they appear to revolve around the same basic goals: financial success and romantic fulfillment. As a result, whether you’ve always wanted to marry a pop star, or hope that they’ll hear you busking and join you in a duet that goes viral, why not go a bit further into your own?
- Speculating about the future; making predictions
The future, like a story, is a vast, open field of possibilities in which anything might happen. There are, however, a few things you can expect: you’ll obtain a job, retire, someone you love will be born, someone you gave birth to will find love, and so on and so forth. Your writing will shine brighter if you give your story a dose of reality by imagining what may happen in the future.
Start getting creative!
- Something from a creative writing prompt
Ideas for authors looking for something to write about may be found all over the internet. It’s always best to start with a reliable source, and we believe ours is one of the best – but we’re also prejudiced. Over 200 short story ideas have been painstakingly handpicked for our weekly prompts contest, which provides five writing prompts based on a different subject each week. You may always participate in this week’s questions or look back at the challenges from previous competitions if you want to!
- Rewrite a dialog in your own words.
If you’ve ever been there, you know exactly what I’m talking about: You have a brilliant idea in your brain, but the moment arrives and you’re unable to articulate it. Afterward, you ponder how things might have gone differently, what funny things you could have said. It’s torturous and pointless until you put it down on paper and share it with the world. Real-life examples are an excellent opportunity to practice writing dialogue, and you never know where the discussion may go.
- The thing you dreaded really happened.
When it comes to plot points for thrillers and suspense books, as well as that section of a romance novel when everything goes horribly wrong, those of us who are perpetually on edge have a ready supply of material to draw upon. It’s common for these thoughts to go away as soon as the issue you were worried about is resolved to your satisfaction. If you’re worried about the “increasing action/all is lost” aspect of your novel, why not make those fears a (fictional) reality and utilize them as the backdrop?
Start visualizing a storyline
- Opening sentences influenced by your surroundings
If you’re a fan of the “pantsing” approach, you may even go so far as to write each paragraph line-by-line. Motivating factors for writers of this caliber may include things like “a storm” or “a rocking chair.” Curious? Write a first sentence that is influenced by anything in the room. Let’s see how it goes. If you like the first line, try the second one. Then, if that doesn’t work, try something more exciting. Your next book may be as simple as a coffee cup!
- A song’s storyline is expanded or reimagined.
Storytelling and songwriting go hand in hand. There is always more to learn about a song, even if it is just narrative. Have you ever been transported to another realm by a song? Great! To further understand the song’s characters, listen to it a second time and delve into the words. And what are the difficulties they’re dealing with? You’re not trying to recreate the song in prose, but rather learn more about the characters, events, and setting.
Are you looking for a specific example? ‘Suzanne’ by Rachel Dzengelewski, the winner of our weekly writing challenge, was inspired by Leonard Cohen’s song of the same name. It’s an exquisite narrative.
Keep an open mind
- A remembrance, but from the points of view of those who were engaged.
As a memoirist, you have to deal with the fact that your recollection is fallible. As a side effect, it might be tempting to think of oneself as the story’s all-conquering hero or all-suffering victim. This isn’t always an issue for fiction authors. You may avoid this mistake by writing about the same memory from the viewpoint of each individual involved. It’s a lot of fun to see things from a different perspective.
- A fictitious conversation with a stranger who catches your interest.
There are several advantages to using character surveys to improve one’s character. There’s no better place to start than with a fascinating stranger. Filling in character details by thinking about what they’d say in response to hypothetical queries is a useful exercise that might provide a wonderful tale idea. As an alternative, why not try writing an interview, interrogation, or therapy session in the style of a narrative?
Get into writing narratives
- A narrative about someone who has the job of your childhood fantasy but despises it.
Do you want to be happier at work? The career of your childhood fantasies may now be explored. Everyone, from astronauts to pop stars to scientists to lollipop kings, has their share of difficulties and tribulations. Things are going to get worse before they get better for your character, but you have the power to decide whether or not that’s the case.
- A piece of writing that begins with a passage from the middle of a novel,
Flip through the pages of any book on your bookshelf, then point at any random spot on the pages and you’ve got your opening sentence. This writing exercise encourages you to try again if you’ve come to a total halt, but refrain from searching for anything in particular; the point is to let chance take its course. In order to publish the findings, you must not plagiarize the first line, therefore treat the random phrase as a prompt, not a beginning line.
- What would your life have been like if you had chosen a different route?
Whether you believe in destiny or not, the decisions we make in life shape the directions we take. In your life, there have likely been a number of pivotal moments. Then, make a new decision. If you hadn’t gone to college, where would you be now? It’s hard to imagine what your life might have been like had you spent a year traveling. Take a few creative liberties since this isn’t real life.
- Implement the memories and stories inspired by your favorite dish.
Even if it’s the scent of fish and chips that brings you to the beach or the process of preparing a cake that brings back childhood memories, food is an excellent vehicle for nostalgia since it has the power to take you back in time. You may use a recipe or a short story about cooking as a starting point for your ideas and tales (fictional or nonfictional) if you want to write something nostalgic or thoughtful about cooking. Who knows whether you’ll like the end result if you enjoy the process? A unique cookbook from you might be on the way soon.
What’s in your storyline?
- A storyline is produced at random to serve as a subplot inside your tale.
Even if authors are fond of writing about other writers, we believe that more often than not, the story of a book should be found inside another work. Our plot generator may be used for a character’s work-in-progress, rather than the usual method of plotting. To get them started, they should think up a bizarre narrative idea and then see how it affects their day-to-day activities.
- A persona that undertakes all the risks you are unwilling to take.
To their dismay, writers tend to be solitary creatures who prefer to read about exotic locales instead of experiencing them for themselves. You may create an engaging narrative like the ones you like reading by making your character do all the crazy and daring things they wish they could do—and see where it leads them. To write a memoir, of course, you’d have to do all of these things yourself (if you’re so inclined).
The “untold tales” of old photos
Even if you don’t have access to a family album or a flea market’s crates of old photos, you may still get inspiration for your next great piece of writing by browsing through old photos.
- Incorrect answers to Google’s most frequently asked queries
Yes, children say the most bizarre things. Despite this, it turns out that grownups aren’t shy of searching for the oddest of things. So, whether you want to address today’s most serious issues or simply create a funny novel, go to Google queries like, Why were cornflakes invented?, for inspiration. Yes, tattoos are permitted in Heaven. Bananas may be eaten by dogs. Strawberries? Apples? Angels and Blueberries by Tara Campbell is a great example of how it’s done well!
Write about art, news, or private things
- A work of art based on an unusual headline from the news.
They believe that reality may be stranger than fiction sometimes. And it seems that’s the case, based on the headlines I’ve scoured. Although many unusual news items are just amusing, there are a few gems to be found that might be used in hilarious flash fiction or a peculiar inciting occurrence.
- Your typical everyday notebook, but with a unique twist
Journaling every day is not only therapeutic but also a terrific method to create a writing habit and cultivate your creativity. However, if you’re not a fan of chronicling your life, you’ll need to come up with a creative solution. Anything that gets your creative juices flowing and leads to a brilliant idea, such as writing as if you were keeping a diary from the point of view of a fictitious character (a la Lionel Shriver’s We Need to Talk About Kevin), or writing in reverse chronological order, should be tried.
Writing topics that will never go out of style
- A description of the current news headlines, as presented by the devil’s advocate
The finest material is relevant, and the best of the best will challenge readers to reassess their own assumptions about the world. It’s always a good idea to go over the latest headlines and see if you can come up with a topic of interest. The best way to start an argument is to make sure you understand the subject matter and then challenge the author’s position. There’s always a flaw in every argument, so don’t be afraid to look for it.
- When was the last time you had a new perspective on a topic?
Getting someone to doubt their beliefs is one thing, but changing their minds for good is another. Because of this, when someone succeeds with you, it might be a significant event. Consider the last time you had a mental transformation. What were the factors that influenced your decision? Which of the following is true about you: And now, how do you feel about it? It’s possible that you’ll be able to influence someone else’s thinking.
- Your hometown’s most comprehensive visitor’s guide
Even whether you’re looking for an online listicle or an old-fashioned guidebook, neither choice is truly satisfactory. Create an honest, insider’s guide about your hometown for the benefit of the people that visit. When it comes to putting up a “week in the city” guide or a “top 10” list, be creative and don’t be afraid to add a personal touch. Let your creative juices flow, and don’t be afraid to include a little humor.
- A newly discovered pastime, recorded
Every new pastime attracts curious onlookers who want to know more about what you’re getting yourself into, regardless of how obscure the activity may seem to the casual observer. If you’re going to be a resource for others, it’s great if you can be the person who can provide them everything they need to get started, from a starter’s kit to advice on where to begin and lessons learned through errors you wish you had known before getting started.
- An open letter to yourself when you were younger.
The internet is rife with suggestions on how to write a letter to your younger self, but being true to yourself may be the most effective strategy. You may use this practice to help heal old wounds, but it can also be a terrific opportunity to make fun of the things you used to wear. As you write, let your voice guide the content of your message. Most likely, you won’t even realize how much your work has an impact on others until after you’ve published it.
- A breakdown of your top 26 choices in Room 101
Isn’t it frustrating when you can’t get rid of something? Do you curl your toes as well? What if it makes your hair stand on end? Room 101 is a fictitious location where objects may be sent to be annihilated. By asking your readers whether or not they have the same pet hates and worst fears as yours, you’ll be able to get your rant out there and get your readers engaged.
Get even more personal!
- A tribute to your compulsions.
Consider writing an amusing love letter to sweets, or maybe about your favorite TV program. You can even consider writing about a more serious kind of addiction. Be honest with yourself about your addiction and how it has affected your life. Ask yourself what keeps you coming back to this activity or what triggers the sense of surrender. Then you may think about the larger ramifications of this addiction, such as how it affects society or how it is regarded by others. You may see the possibility for a larger piece of writing from this point forward..
- An explanation of a well-known phrase
“Each sad family is unhappy in its own way” by Tolstoy and “the increasing good of the world is partially reliant on unhistoric deeds” by George Eliot are two examples of thought-provoking words that may be found in literature or in the daily news headlines. When you find a sentence that resonates with you, let your thoughts and emotions spill forth. There are a variety of ways you might approach this, from confessional to argumentative to factual, but the goal is to discover a fascinating concept of your own and explore it.
What about your personal experiences?
- A combination of personal experience and knowledge on a relevant subject
Is there a problem in your life that you believe has a major impact? Whether you’re passionate in gardening, senior loneliness, or animal rights, there are plenty of topics to explore on the internet. A few well-established or neutral sources (ideally newspapers and magazines) should be read, or if you have the time and energy, look at scholarly research relevant to this problem. Begin jotting down your thoughts in reaction to this information—does what you’ve read match up with your own experiences? Compared to the examples given, how does this one differ? You haven’t read about what you believe is the most important component of this topic. The first step is to answer the following questions.
- Write about writing
I think it’s time to write about the act of writing itself. If you’d like, you may use these writing quotes as a starting point for your own reflections, or you can just use them as inspiration for your own writing. When you’re writing, consider when you’re at your most productive, how the writing process feels, what challenges you, and what brings you the most joy. Inquire about why you write, and answer it as fully as you can (and honestly). Being introspective may be a lot of fun!
There’s plenty you can write about
It’s our goal that these suggestions have been useful in your search for topics to write about. Even if you don’t notice anything that instantly leaps out at you as intriguing, give it a shot. A burst of inspiration can sometimes take a while to show up.