In creative writing, ideas are everything. No matter how good a writer you might be, without ideas you will have nothing to create.
You are actually already bursting with great ideas, whether you know it or not.
Trust me, you have enough raw material inside you right now for more novels than you could ever hope to complete, no matter what age you are or how uninteresting you believe your life might have been.
All you need is a foolproof method for discovering these novel ideas, and you will find it right here.
First, though, a warning...
Do you remember at school how your teachers told you to spend the first ten minutes of an examination reading the questions? Well, it's the same thing with writing...
In creative writing, ideas might be plentiful but that doesn't make them all valuable. In fact, settling on the first idea that drifts into your head could be costly if it later turns out to be the wrong idea. You could face months or even years of wasted work - and I should know because I've done it.
So, don't rush into a decision. As this section shows, writing ideas are actually simple to find, and not that time-consuming to find, either - unlike writing the novel, which will most likely take you years.
It makes sense, therefore, to wait for the right idea to come along (you'll know when it does), and not to settle on second best for the sake of another day's or another week's searching.
Of course, there is another potential problem here: being so cautious that you never commit to anything...
Okay, it's time to roll up your sleeves and get down to the nitty-gritty of finding some ideas. Winning ideas might seem elusive if you have already racked your brains and come up with - well, not much. But if you go about it calmly and logically there is really nothing to it.
The first thing you will want to know is what it is you are searching for, exactly. This article reveals all.
And while we are dealing with the basics, you might be wondering where all these creative writing ideas you're about to magically discover are hiding.
All fiction is autobiographical to an extent. We have only ever lived one life (our own), and so we cannot help but write about it. The danger is being too autobiographical, as this article explains.
One piece of advice you hear a lot as a novel writing beginner is to write about what you know. But how does this square-up with the advice in the previous article about not writing purely autobiographical fiction? You will find the answer right here.
In this detailed look at novel ideas and where they come from, it's easy to lose sight of the most powerful tool every writer has at his or her disposal: their imagination!
This one is particularly important if you are writing your first novel and are tempted to cram the story with too many ideas.
Last piece of general advice before we get to the meaty material on how to actually find ideas for a novel. Keeping a writing journal isn't going to help you much with finding ideas for your first novel. But if you start keeping an "ideas" journal today, you will be overflowing with raw material for novel number two.
My two-step process for finding ideas for fiction is simplicity itself, but also magical in its results...
How will you know when you have found the "perfect" idea? The truth is, it can be incredibly difficult sometimes to tell if you have discovered a diamond or a worthless lump of coal. This article will help you to decide.
And here I take things one step further and offer a way of "trying out" a writing idea before you commit all of your time and energy to it.