Indie Author Weekly

114: 7 examples for getting story ideas from everyday life

June 01, 2021 Sagan Morrow Episode 115
Indie Author Weekly
114: 7 examples for getting story ideas from everyday life
Show Notes Transcript

Have you ever struggled to think of new story ideas, and wished you could tap into your everyday life for epic creative ideas? Well, that’s exactly what you’re getting on today’s episode of Indie Author Weekly!  

This is the podcast for indie authors, aspiring authors, and curious bookworms who want the inside scoop, tips and motivation, and behind-the-scenes journey of writing and self-publishing books.   

TUNE IN NOW to get 7 examples for tapping into your creativity and inspiration from everyday life...   

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Hello and welcome back to Indie Author Weekly! This is the podcast for indie authors, aspiring authors, and curious bookworms who want the inside scoop, tips and motivation, and the behind-the-scenes journey of writing and self-publishing books. I’m your host, Sagan Morrow (or @Saganlives on Twitter & Instagram), and I’m a productivity strategist and an author of polyamorous romcoms.

Now, have you ever struggled to think of new story ideas, and wished you could tap into your everyday life for epic creative ideas? Well, that’s exactly what you’re getting on today’s episode of Indie Author Weekly!

For new and returning listeners, you can now get all Indie Author Weekly podcast episodes plus book writing updates delivered directly to your inbox each week at SaganMorrow.com/behindthescenes—link is in the show notes.

Now let’s get into this episode of the Indie Author Weekly podcast. Today, I want to share 7 examples for getting story ideas from real life.

I encourage you to tap into your creativity in all aspects of life. You don’t need to be sitting down at the computer to write stories. In fact, I’ve done some of my best quote-unquote “writing” while out for a walk, kayaking on the lake, or even laying in bed unable to sleep at night. 

You are a delightfully creative human being, and there is creativity all around you and within you. It’s a matter of connecting to your own inherent creativity.

And that’s where the magic of getting story ideas from real life comes into play.

Here are 7 examples of getting stories from everyday life, to help you out if you are struggling to think of new ideas or scenes for your own stories and books…

1. A conversation that didn’t work out the way you wanted. You know those situations when you have a less-than-satisfying conversation with someone in real life, and you wish it would’ve gone differently? Well… use the conversation topic as a starting point. Take a regular conversation piece and alter the trajectory it takes. This creates very realistic dialogue. Bonus point: this can be cathartic at the same time!

2. A shift in perspective. For example, I recently wrote a short story for a contest from the perspective of a squirrel, rather than a human being. You can adapt this by writing a scene through the eyes of the antagonist, or a side character, for example.

3. Incorporate your own personality quirk into a character. For example, there’s a scene in Out of Control (that’s Book 6 in my Polyamorous Passions romantic comedy series), when Helen and Emma help Scarlett calm down by encouraging her to look up words in a dictionary—because reading dictionary definitions is soothing to Scarlett. Guilty as charged! I love looking up definitions. I find it very relaxing.  

4. Metaphors based on your experiences. For example, every Saturday, I sent a productivity newsletter to my email list. And since it’s now kayaking season, I’ve had some fun writing newsletters on topics like “business lessons learned from kayaking.” Have fun interpreting an everyday activity in a way that applies to what you’re writing about. 

5. Build on a fun fact you recently learned. For example, if you learned a cool stat, could you build a scene around it? Or use it to convey something about your character’s personality?

6. Give a nod to pop culture. What TV show or movie are you watching right now? How could you incorporate an homage to it in your story? In another example from Out of Control (AKA Book 6 in the Polyamorous Passions series), the ending is a very sweet nod to When Harry Met Sally—with a fun role reversal!

7. Imagine what might have happened outside of your purview. Let’s say you’re leaving the grocery store, and you hear a crash behind you, but you’re not sure what exactly happened. Follow that thread in your mind, and explore what might have happened. Or, if you see a person dressed unusually while walking down the street, you could create a scenario around why they’re dressed like that, and where they are going. 

I’d love to hear from you: which of these examples are you most excited to try out for yourself? Connect with me on Twitter or Instagram, @Saganlives, to let me know!

To recap, those 7 examples of getting story ideas from real life include: 

  1. A conversation that didn’t work out the way you wanted.
  2. A shift in perspective.
  3. Incorporate your own personality quirk into a character.
  4. Metaphors based on your experiences
  5. Build on a fun fact you recently learned. 
  6. Give a nod to pop culture.
  7.  Imagine what might have happened outside of your purview. 

As you can see, creativity and story ideas really can be found anywhere and everywhere. You can tap into your creativity and get inspiration from just about anything! A great exercise is to start to play with this and see how many characters, scene ideas, and dialogue you can get from a single moment in time. This can help to stretch your imagination and ensure that more fresh ideas are always at your fingertips.

And that, my friend, is a wrap for today’s episode of Indie Author Weekly! Access the show notes for this episode, including all links and additional resources, at SaganMorrow.com/podcast.

Thank you so much for tuning in. Please take 2 minutes to rate and review Indie Author Weekly on Apple Podcasts—I really appreciate your support. 

Until next week, this is Sagan Morrow, signing off the Indie Author Weekly podcast.