Where do ideas for novels come from?
Having decided to take this novel writing thing seriously, I then panicked. What would my novel be about? Would my idea be ‘good enough’? Could I make it fill out a whole book? My mind went blank, as it typically does when put under stress. Then I took a deep breath and relaxed a little.
Writers use their experiences, so ideas for novels can come from many places. It might be a passion, or an interest, or a hobby. It might be something that happened to the writer, or to a relative, or to a friend or to somebody vaguely known. It might be a news story from the TV or radio. It might be a book, or a film or a picture. It might be a word, or some music or a sound. It might be that interesting old man who walks his dog along the street every day.
The truth was, I knew what my novel was going to be about. It was a story I had been developing in my mind for many years. I’d even once started to write it down. The seed of my novel had begun with a sense of place. My place was the last home I lived in. An old, damp stone house nestled in the woods with a stream running past. This house and its surroundings inspired in me a feeling of poignancy. I wanted to write a story which reflected that feeling. I began to create scenes and characters in my mind during my daily walks in the woods along the stream.
When you are a writer, your mind is constantly searching for and thinking about stories. We are story collectors. We find inspiration anywhere and everywhere.
Where do you get your novel ideas?