Now that you have your inner self examined, ideas galore abound around you. Your number one source of ideas are the pages you wrote to find yourself. Take those pages out and read them over. ( 9 Ways to find yourself–As a Writer, As a Person)
1. Choose five random things from your lists. Take those five random items and brainstorm how they might fit together. (Example: butterfly wings, extreme cold, traveling, my children, making baskets. In two minutes I come up with: A basket maker travels from village to village selling baskets and searching for her stolen children that winged fliers took. She must find them before the extreme cold comes and the winged ones return to their winter home.) Not a very strong storyline, but hey, I only took two minutes. You can do better.
2. Use things that happen to people around you–family, friends, children. Everything can be a story. Change and rearrange. Never use anyone’s life as is.
3. Things that happen to you. Use your memories. Write about the memory filtered through a writer’s eyes, or reverse and write about what should have happened.
4. Use your hopes, dreams and fears. That can be real life or your actual dreams. Keep a small notebook near your bedside. When you wake up from a vivid dream, quickly jot down a few key words to help you remember later.
5. Listen to “old folk” tales. Embellish them. Use them as a What If stepping stone.
6. Use your pets. Write about the joys, sorrows, antics, problems with your pet. Give your character a pet like one you have or had.
7. Before you throw away any magazines, collect pictures from them that intrigue you. Ask, “What if?”
8. Cut out newspaper stories that interest you or have a “What If?” possibility. Place the pictures and human interest stories in a file folders.
9. Make a list of intriguing titles that fit the genre in which you write. Sometimes whole books can spring from a catchy title.
10. Make a list of colorful characters possibilities for your writing type. A character can dictate a story.
11. Make a list of explosive situations that might happen in your style of books.
I could go on and on. Ideas are everywhere. Be sure you give yourself time for your ideas to spin around inside your head. Like a miniature tornado, they will snatch up other ideas and bounce them around. Some ideas will be crushed to pieces, others set down carefully, full of promise. Your ideas, your way.