61 Best Ways To Find Novel Inspirations & Create Best-Sellers

1. Blogs

Billions of blogs are published every day with billions of blogs are made per day. So, it’s impossible not to get anything online because you can get whatever on the web in a single click. Probably, inspirations for your next novel lurk around there. All you have to do is to keep reading awesome stories from them.

2. Books

I’ve done this at times wherein there are some parts I’ve been reading that sparks my interests. From there, I realize that “If this genre works, why can’t I write the same or much weirder than this?”

3. Overheard Dialogues In Public Place

Most of my stories I write are taken from real-life stories when I accidentally eavesdropped everywhere. Be it in coffee shops or in supermarkets. You know, there are a lot of novel inspirations around you. All you need to do is improve your keen sense and observe real people.

4. Magazines

From celebrities to the latest cars and beauty products, there are so much you can take advantage when you try to get ideas for your next book.

5. Movies

This is one of my favorite methods I use when I think of writing a new novel on Wattpad. Mostly from Asian movies from Korean, Chinese, to Japanese, I get tons of insights from their movies and think of endless possibilities I could make to create a unique story for my readers.

6. Drama Series

I grew up watching the Korean drama series, as well as Chinese, Taiwanese, and Japanese. My aunt, my mother, and sometimes my father join together in the living room and watch various series. Cry and laugh together, enjoying their stories.

7. Forums

You might think you’d get nothing in joining various conversations in forums like Quora, Disqus, or Reddit. You can. I did when I reached out to Korean drama active community along with the rest of the international enthusiasts and they gave me the best insights.

8. Art

I haven’t tried this approach, though some of the authors have done this to spark their creative powers and make such awesome stories. But you can do visit different art galleries and try whether you can get the best novel inspirations from the art displays there.

9. Music

Among the 61 approaches, this is the most frequent I use. In fact, I use music as a source of most of my stories apart from real-life stories from friends or family.

10. Friends & Family

My ongoing book “Trapped Prince” on Wattpad is actually taken from my sister as my muse for the main character, Sebastian Gonzales. I didn’t plan it, but as my writing goes on, I start to notice he’s resembling my own sister.

11. Writing Groups

There are some authors who prefer writing in groups and meet up in a certain location to write together. This is the common practice when you’re joining NaNoWriMo just as my writing buddy, Austin Roberto, does in the last year’s NaNoWriMo.

12. Quotes

Perhaps you have read a quote from someone influential that provoked your beliefs or your suppressed emotions you don’t want to talk nor think about. Take a note of that quote and build a strong story from it. Because you know what, if that quote had a profound effect on you, the same goes with the others, too.

13. Nature

When I had a rare experience at Lantapan, Bukidnon and saw the vast mountain ranges, I remembered how exactly it feels to get tons of best novel inspirations seeing the view of pure nature with the cool breeze touching my skin.

14. Personal Experience

One of the best ways to find novel inspirations is through recalling those moments, including the most painful and embarrassing, and convert these into a strong story with a hidden message your readers should know and learn from.

15. Diary Entries

In relation to personal experience, your diary entries are great sources for your novel inspiration. These are from personal accounts, so it’s unique to you and your readers per se.

16. History

My first Historical Filipino Teen Romance, “30 Days With Mr. Weirdo,” is from the real Filipino hero General Gregorio Del Pilar, one of the youngest generals in his time.

17. Travel

My next novel pending this year, “Gangster Maestro,” is from my journey to the mall when I had to ship a document to the German Embassy. The character is inspired from one of their employees working there. It’s surprising to get a unique story from a short trip. How much more traveling abroad?

18. Children

One of my pending books, which I have no fixed title yet, is actually taken from personal experience when one of the children climbs up our garden. I scolded that kid for doing that, which later gave me a spark, a novel inspiration indeed.

19. Exercise

Many authors suggested to sweat out your sedentary life in writing. By doing some running or jogging around the corner activates that creativeness suppressed underneath you.

20. Religion

Trying to touch the sensitive topic as religion is a big risk for most authors. They know once they write something about this has opposing outcomes, especially from the religious groups.

21. Newspapers

A great source for your novel idea is from non-fiction resources and nothing beats with newspapers delivered right in front of your doorsteps. From opinions to business, you have lots of chances to create “what ifs” from the articles you will be reading.

22. Dreams

I wrote two books, “Accidental Quest” and “Trapped Prince” from my lucid dreams at 2 o’clock in the morning. Whenever I have those stories in my head at the exact hour (2 am), I record it on my phone and return on it whenever I need a new novel idea.

23. Journal

There are a few novels I like to write later that are from my personal account. They’re from my journal entries way back 2017 wherein I wrote my struggles in eating disorder and major depression.

24. Poetry

If you were able to make a story from music or from a piece of a song, you can do in poems, too. They have the same approach. You can do this on your own. Search for the one poem that struck you most and you make a story from it.

25. Shakespearean Works

If tragedy and death are your interests, then, Shakespearean works are your best references. Familiar with “Romeo and Juliet” or “Hamlet?”

26. Philosophies

Either Greek or Roman or those from the Medieval Period, you can take a certain philosophy someone like Plato or Socrates adhere and think of what situations you can create. A situation so difficult your protagonist longs for escape from that misery by whatever means. Fantastic idea, right?

27. Literature

Take Beowulf, for example, or Don Quixote. In the Philippines, under the Basic Education Curriculum, the English, European Literature are typically discussed at the beginning of the academic year. This has been repeated over the years until college.

28. Success Stories

You can make those people’s success stories as your novel inspiration just as you did with your personal experiences (I’ve explained earlier). Perhaps, you have read about a survivor of the deadliest typhoon in the newspaper. You can take that as a reference for your next book.

29. Authors’ Life Stories

See no. 28.

30. Non-Fiction Stories From Google

In one of my novel ideas collected since 2017, I got the idea of Captain Tomohiro, my protagonist of an untitled book (temporarily Tomohiro’s Lost Book), from a real-life story of a Japanese man. He’s one of the generals permitted to conquer one of the islands in Leyte, Philippines during the Second World War.

31. “What If” Daydream

Most of the authors, including the seasoned ones, have been reminding the new authors to keep asking “what if” whenever they create a plot. It’s true. Instead of having a plain and predictable storyline, ask hypothetical questions until the conflict becomes too difficult for your protagonist.

32. Brainstorming Novel Ideas In A Coffee Shop

Whenever my sister invites me to have a cup of coffee in Starbucks, I always sit in the same spot. This is where my brainstorming takes place while I am having fun observing people coming in and going out with their families and friends.

33. Coffee Shop Stories

See no. 3.

34. Collection (Ransom Riggs)

I remember Ransom Riggs, author of Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children series, collecting old photos with unknown stories. According to him, he’s been fond of collecting them from flea markets, apparently, worth of cents.

35. See Ordinary Situations & Turn Into Extraordinary

When you’re a writer, you’re aware that your keen sense towards others is sharper than the average people, aren’t you? You have this tendency to go deeper into your thoughts by watching persons passing by. You observe how they look, how they act, how they talk, etc.

36. Read Something You Hate

I hated reading Teen Fiction for whatever reasons I have. I guess my subconscious withdraws the corny, cheesy, and petty plotlines most authors wrote. That doesn’t mean I generalize everyone though. But most of the authors’ works I’ve read in the bookstores are filled with tropes.

37. Social Interaction

See no. 3, it’s similar

38. Take Notes Of Random Things

See no. 32.

39. Real Life Issues

See no. 21.

40. Day Job

If you think you can’t get an idea of a unique office romance right in your cubicle, you’re wrong. Have a skill most of the writers do, eavesdropping. *smiles*

41. Personal Interest (Might Have Forgotten)

When I was younger, I used to be in a choir. I was a soprano back then. However, due to filial reasons, my parents had to pull me out from my club and forget that dream of performing in front of the audience.

42. Move Somewhere New

Write in different locations to keep a fresh perspective. Others go abroad or travel somewhere else in the country to keep new ideas going.

43. Field Work

See no. 40.

44. Familiar Places/Things

Even a single familiar object, as simple as a handkerchief, is enough to spark a new idea for your next novel. I found mine in an old pocket watch my husband found in one of his packages.

45. Curiosity In Weird Things

When you explore YouTube, you see a lot of crazy things going on from the most err…stupid people across the globe. Even on social media, you find a lot of them. But, even in the weirdest things you see in these platforms, maybe you can spot a hidden gem underneath and write a great novel about it.

46. Extended Metaphors

Wikipedia defines extended metaphors as a series of comparison of two unlike things (without the use of as or like unlike simile) within sentences, lines, or paragraphs. “My life is a filing cabinet,” for example. There are many resources to explain this further.

47. Medical Conditions

Take “A Walk to Remember” from the USA, “One Liter of Tears” from Japan, or “Autumn in My Heart” from South Korea. These are movie and series respectively, talking about the deadly, incurable disease.

48. Little Moments Of Your Life

See no. 14, 35, and 44.

49. Book Sales/Flea Market

Like Ransom Riggs, I’ve been a fan of book sales since I got into the university. Because in these types of locations, you can find treasure. Lots of ideas from old things you can only see at flea markets.

50. Other Occupations

When I entered the courier office to ship my package to the German Embassy (as stated in no. 17), I noticed the employees while they received the documents and packed them for shipment.

51. Grandparents/Parents’ Stories

This point somehow relates to my previous point about history and friends, however, I’d like to add something here. If you want more unique stories, you can ask your grandparents or your parents about their lives. Certainly, you can pick up something that will spark your potential Historical Fiction.

52. (Really Long) Car/Bus Rides

I thought doing this would make me an odd person. But many of the writers tend to do this all the time. For whatever reason, the long distance travel by car makes me wonder a lot of things to the point I won’t notice what’s going on around me. Especially if I see nature along the way. That makes me more indulged to enjoy the view rather than talking to my family.

53. Eulogies

Writing about death is something that I like, but it’s emotionally draining. Of course, for obvious reasons, it brings sorrow and pain. Writing scenes in the chapters containing these makes me want to prepare ahead of time because I know I’ll be physically weak afterward.

54. Imagine People’s Lives Opposite Of Their Current Situation

See no. 31.

55. Create A Title Then Build A Character

The majority of the authors say don’t create the title before writing your story. For me, I do the reverse. I decide the book idea and the title first before I commence the writing phase. If this system works for you, great! We’re on the same boat, my writing buddy.

56. Graveyards

See no. 53.

57. Mix Cliches And Turn Them Into An Odd Idea

See no. 45.

58. Creating Evilest Character From Dread

One of my favorite approaches when creating a new story for my next book is to create a phenomenal protagonist. Here’s the catch. Making the lead character the evilest one.

59. Positivity In A Deadly Disease

See no. 47.

60. Positivity In Destruction (man-made and natural causes)

In relation to my previous point about turning ordinary events into extraordinary, it’s a theme of destruction made by man. The point is for me, as an author of the book, I have to harness the lead character’s evil plan to bring out the positive outcomes he expects.

61. Pets

Name all the movies, series, or books with their pets as the protagonist. There are lots of these works made from real-life situations wherein their furry friends made an impact in their lives. Both positive and negative.

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