Ideas and Your Fiction

Ideas underpin any piece of fiction. They make the difference between the book that doesn’t get sold and the bestseller; they also make the difference between the bestseller that a couple of years later you find on the second-hand bookshelf, and the bestseller which is read again and again and made into box-office-shattering films.

Get the ideas right, and the rest will come much easier.

But what ideas? Do you just dream up some clever ideas and then hope for the best? No, there are ways of approaching this which will get you to the core of the matter far more quickly. These questions are designed to pilot you through towards a treasure-trove of powerful ideas which will help you write a successful piece of fiction.

1. As a writer, do you have well-laid-out plans for the next 5 to 10 years?

If you do, it’s likely that you have struck upon an idea or set of ideas which will sustain a successful piece of writing; if you don’t, then all is not lost. This is because the motivation you have as a writer is intimately connected to the central ideas or themes you want to communicate in your work. If you consider, deep down, that your ideas are not important enough or powerful enough, it’s likely that you won’t make the time to push various obstacles out of the way and get writing actually happening. This is what is known as Hyper-critical Situation # 1 in the e-course How to Write Stories That Work - and Get Them Published!: you don’t have enough horse-power to make the changes you need to make to write your books.

2. Do you find it easy to set writing goals and work towards them?

See # 1 above. If you find it easy, you are inspired; if you find it difficult, all that means is that the other forces in operation in Life - family pressures, health, money and all the rest of them - are stronger than your drive to write. What can you do?