On Your Next Great Book Idea

bulb idea light


by Samantha Fenton

You’re ready to start writing another book. Writing’s a habit, or to some an addiction. Why wouldn’t you be writing? You really, really need to start another writing project. The only problem: finding that perfect idea to write about.

What should your next book be about?

Maybe there are tens of ideas swarming around your head. Maybe you’ve been cataloging them  – storing them away for later reference. There could be many that would make a great novel, and hopefully you’ll get to write all of them eventually. But which one to write now?

Or perhaps you get an idea to write about every time you turn your head. Sometimes you forget them, but other times you actually manage to write them down. But they’re all… mediocre. You could make them work, but something just seems off about every one. How are you to find one good enough?

It could be you’re not like that. Instead, you can’t find a single idea. How can these other people have ideas descending upon them from the heavens? You try and try but can’t come up with anything. Ideas are sneaky creatures which work hard everyday to hide from you. How do you come up with one?

I’ll attempt to answer these here: You know a good book idea when it won’t get out of your head. A single description, a line of dialogue, or the opening scene will be one you always come back to. You’ll find yourself unable to let it go.

But how to find one? Maybe look back through some of your favorite books or movies. Is there a character trait you really like? Maybe you keep getting glimpses of red hair, or a dark ally. Maybe you can still see the facial expression of that stranger passing you. Maybe it’s a raw emotion, or the French accent of a tour guide who suddenly appeared in your mind. Have these things stuck with you? Have you thought about them often?

Write on it. Form a plot around it. You may soon find a whole book unraveling from this single plot point.

I found my next book idea through a random line of dialogue. It popped up into my mind one day out of nowhere.  I just kept hearing it over and over, and eventually knew that I had to write this character. He needed to be in a book. I then began to think of the man who would fit this voice. Funny thing is, he’s not even a main character. The main idea for my book, and he’s not even a major player. Interesting.




Guest post contributed by Samantha Fenton. Samantha lives in Ridgefield, Washington on a beautiful ten acres filled with many beloved pets. Samantha is currently striving to traditionally publish, as well as enjoying her passion for golf.

9 thoughts on “On Your Next Great Book Idea

  1. Thanks for today’s post. I agree that ideas for next problems come from various sources. I’m in the downward swing of my next manuscript. But, I have ideas for two more circling about in my gray matter. I need to start the brain storming part for those two before they run away from me never to be found. This is where the writer’s notebook comes into play. Mine sits on the coffee table, but, will be moved closer to catch the wave of creativity as it surges forth.


  2. I had to reblog this because this was exactly what I was going through. I even tried writing other works but those works turned out to be chapters for the book I am currently writing lol.


  3. I’m not too short of ideas; for me it’s the execution of them that trips me up and blocks me. I get lost in the morass of decisions to make: what genre? What tone? What characters? What conflict? What PLOT? What what what, it never ends, and then I just abandon it – well, not totally… it’s in the attic of my brain, gathering dust… Sigh. Decisions – the curse of the Libra.


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