Book Ideas: Find the Perfect Idea for Your Novel

Barbara Cartland

Barbara Cartland

Writing your novel starts with finding an idea: the perfect idea. Many writers procrastinate because their ideas don’t seem big enough. They want inspiration to flash down like a bolt of lightning, hitting them with an idea which delivers a bestselling book.

No need to wait for lightning to strike. You’ll be relieved to know that there are easy ways to come up with great ideas.

I wrote a series of novels for a major publisher way back in the 1980s. Some 30 years of writing later, I’m back writing my first love: novels. It’s huge fun, and I have more ideas than I could write even if I managed to clone myself.

Believe it or not, finding ideas for your novel is simplicity itself. Developing those ideas comes next. Sadly few of your brilliant ideas survive the development process, but that’s fine. As long as you know how to get ideas, you’re golden.

Here are some tips which will help you to get ideas on demand.

1. Ideas Are in the News

Bad things happen to people every day.

Browse the online news sites, and within five minutes you’ll have a slew of ideas. Local news sites are great for finding ideas for mysteries and romances. World-wide news sites deliver ideas for thrillers and science fiction.

Tip: remember that other writers scour the news sites for ideas too. Therefore, to create truly unique seeds for your novels, combine several ideas. Never use a news-story as-is. Make it your own.

2. Listen to Gossip (Yes, Really)

People love to talk and speculate.

Any family gathering will provide you with enough gossip for ten novels. If you have children, you’ll find plentiful gossip at the school gate, and at school events.

Of course, there’s celebrity gossip too. Most of this is professionally-created spin; you may find a speck or two of book-idea gold amongst it.

3. Improve on Someone Else’s Novel (but Be Careful)

E.L. James, of “Fifty Shades of Grey” fame, apparently wrote her book on a fan fiction site, as fan fiction for the “Twilight” books. This early material has since been removed.

Fan fiction has a dubious reputation, because there are copyright issues. You’re infringing on someone else’s intellectual property rights.

Here’s where it helps. If you love a book, and want to write some fan fiction based on the characters, you’ve already got an emotional experience. This can help you to write.

BIG Tip: if you write fan fiction, keep it on your own computer. Don’t post it anywhere. As stated, it’s a murky area.

4. Tell Your Subconscious You Want Ideas

Here’s the easiest way to get ideas. Tell your subconscious mind to deliver them to you.

This process worked for romance novelist Barbara Cartland. She wrote hundreds of novels. As soon as she completed a novel, she instructed her subconscious mind to deliver another plot. It did, just like clockwork, the very next day.

I use this process myself, every day. I write in my journal: “I need an idea for _______” When I wake up the next morning, ideas appear in my mind.

Tip: these ideas tend to vanish just like dreams. Write them down as soon as you wake up, or they’ll be gone.

There you have it: four ways to find perfect ideas for your novels. Have fun telling stories.

Create your own high-income writing career — work fewer hours than you’re working now


I write steadily for around four hours a day, starting at 5AM. At the end of four hours, I’m tired, but in a pleasant way. The rest of the day is my own. Yes, I need to do the housekeeping chores related to my business but my real work gets done in four hours. If I’m not seeing friends, I write for another hour or so in the evening.

I have lots of time to do the things I enjoy. I can read, watch a movie, play golf… That’s the big benefit of a writing career. You can write during the hours you choose. As long as the writing gets done, no one cares. You don’t even need to be at home to write: your business is wherever you set up your laptop, smartphone, or iPad.

Imagine what you could do with the rest of your time if you worked for just four hours a day… You can, when you build a lucrative writing career… and you can do it FAST.

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Angela Booth is a top copywriter, multi-published author, and writing teacher. She offers many guides, courses and classes to help writers to enhance their skills on her websites. She also provides inspiration and motivation for writers on her writing blogs. Angela has been writing successfully since the late 1970s, and was online in the 1980s, long before the birth of the Web. Her business books have been widely published.