How to Turn an Idea into a Story

Do you have a certain story vibe in your head, or some characters or scenes that you want to write but don’t have a full plot for? Here are some tips to help flesh out your idea into a story!

1. Find inspiration

Go on Pinterest, create a playlist on Spotify, look up common tropes in the genre you want to write—whatever inspires you!

You can even go for a walk, watch a movie, or listen to random music. Any kind of creative outlet will hopefully get your brain moving.

2. Brain dump

Create a Google Doc or a Word Document and write down every single idea you have.

It doesn’t have to make sense or be coherent, just write down whatever comes to mind: plot points, character names, snippets of dialogue, possible themes, settings, inspirations, etc.

This will give you a visual of what kind of story you want to write, and help to identify if it’s possible to make a plot with all the ideas you have.

3. Find a common thread

After you’ve finish brain dumping, try to find a common theme or series of events. If you can’t, that’s okay! You can go online to find a writing prompt you want to write if necessary.

It can be as basic as you need it to be, just divide it into 3 acts: a beginning, middle, and end.

This will help to organize your story so you can add more details later.

4. Research!

This is one of the most important parts of writing, but it’s also great for finding more inspiration.

You can look back to history’s epic battles to inspire a fantasy battle scene, or a great art heist to inspire a story about a group of criminals. There are so many fascinating research topics out there.

5. Ask yourself essential questions

There is some information you can’t do without in a novel. Here are some questions to make sure you understand your story:

  1. Who is the protagonist?
  2. Who is the antagonist?
  3. What is the theme?
  4. How does the protagonist change?
  5. What are the character’s goals?
  6. What is the central conflict?
  7. How does the story begin? End?

6. Plot

You can still do additional research, but by now you should have a clear idea of what your story is going to look like.

Use any plotting methods you’d like (a post on plotting methods is in the works!).

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