3 Brainstorming Ideas To Spark A New Story

Photo by Rubaaaa

Photo by Rubaaaa

Brain dead. That’s what happens between hitting send and that next new story idea. Sometimes it takes forever to come up with that spark that is the beginning of a new novel.

So, you are up against the brick wall you’ve been banging your head against for the last two weeks and nothing brilliant is happening. Relax, you’re a writer. Brick walls are in the writer’s arsenal. Unfortunately, they don’t often help.

Trying the same brainstorming tips over and over can sometimes leave us stymied, too. Here are a few new tips you can try when the brick wall isn’t jarring anything loose.

3 Brainstorming Ideas To Spark A New Story:

1. Find a picture on the internet with people. Tell the story of one of the people in the picture that draws your attention.

This picture drew my attention because it was unique.

Photo by beuford00

Photo by beuford00

Think of the different kinds of stories that can be written from this character. He could be a villain, a man down on his luck, an adventurer lost in the wilderness, etc.

2. Pick a verb for your genre and select a musical piece that sounds like that verb. As you are listening to that piece of music decide who in the story is acting out the verb you envision.

For this piece I might use the word run and develop a story that is happening out of it.

3. Find a picture of a place that you find interesting. Create a story that occurs in that place. 

The following picture gave me ideas of historical novels or fairy tales:

Photo by 13dede

Photo by 13dede

This last trick of finding a place is similar to an idea I learned from Colleen Coble at the Great Lakes Get Away last year. She taught us how to research an area to come up with ideas.

What helps you brainstorm a story?

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About Michelle Lim

Author Michelle Lim is the Brainstorming/Huddle Coach with My Book Therapy Press and the Midwest Zone Director for American Christian Fiction Writers. Michelle’s romantic suspense is represented by Karen Solem of Spencillhill Associates and has gained contest recognition in the Frasier, the Genesis, and the Phoenix Rattler, winning the Genesis in 2015 for her genre. Michelle writes devotionals for The Christian Pulse Online Magazine and Putting On The New. Since her nonfiction book release, Idea Sparking: How To Brainstorm Conflict In Your Novel, through public speaking and online chats Michelle helps writers discover the revolutionary power of brainstorming to bring new life to their stories.

9 thoughts on “3 Brainstorming Ideas To Spark A New Story

  1. So far I haven’t lacked for story ideas..it gets tricky once I get into it. lol Love that music. Where did you find it? I looked on Pandora.

  2. Ashes says:

    Whenever I need a new story idea, I remember what my worst fears/anxieties/imaginary places were as a young child. I had a very vivid imagination (please don’t ask) so I am hardly ever lost for ideas. Dreams also influence my ideas. I remember once I was sick and had a fever-dream that I was walking down a path in a forest (ok, running for dear life) one night, trying to get away from this creature.

  3. I never heard of idea #2 and I love it! These are great, Michelle! Internet newspapers is my most frequent source of ideas, typically followed by a “what if?” question. Will I get to see you at ACFW?? Praying with you was a highlight I will always remember, God really used you to speak some words I needed to hear and I’m so grateful.

  4. Dorothy says:

    This is very helpful, thanks Michelle.

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