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How Do I Come Up With Story Ideas as a Self-Publishing Author?

Story ideas can come from many places. Inspiration is everywhere, and it is up to the self-publishing author to pull the ideas from the ether and to turn them into a fantastic story. Here are four great places for self-publishing authors to pull inspiration from.

A man surrounded by question marks representing a self-publishing author brainstorming

1. People-Watching

Many self-publishing authors people spend time people-watching as they go about their lives. They may see a customer at a restaurant with an unusual fashion sense, hear a snippet of conversation in the grocery checkout line, or hear an interesting story from a work colleague that can germinate into a story idea.

People-watching is a great way to develop characters for stories and sometimes even to find a wandering plot.

2. Look to the Classics

Readers love retellings of classic stories. Many classics are in the public domain, meaning writers can use the characters or plots in new and interesting ways without infringing on anyone’s copyright.

For instance, Jane Austen’s stories can be given a sci-fi twist and placed in outer space. Elizabeth Bennett might become a demon hunter in a fantasy story or a detective in a mystery.

Reading classics can inspire self-publishing authors to use old characters and situations in fun new ways.

It is very common to see genre romance stories inspired by classic fairy tales such as Beauty and the Beast or Cinderella.

3. Embrace Genre Tropes

Most genres have classic tropes. Embracing or subverting those are great ways to create stories. For instance, in a genre romance, the writer might create a grumpy sunshine trope with the male love interest as the sunshine and the female as the grumpy character. Embracing genre tropes is a great way to come up with exciting stories. A self-publishing author can pick a trope they love and create interesting characters and a plot around it.

4. Pick an Element

Stories consist of characters, plots, and settings. Starting with one element and building the other elements around the first is a great way to develop a story. For instance, if a self-publishing author knows they want to write a story on a spaceship they can then ask themselves what sort of stories could happen on a spaceship and who would be an interesting character on that spaceship. The writer might decide they want to do a mystery plot on the spaceships with the first mate being accused of killing the captain. Or perhaps the first mate and captain are enemies who fall in love throughout the adventure.

Using one known element to create the other elements is a great way to come up with a story idea. However, when a self-publishing author comes up with story ideas, InstantPublisher can help turn their manuscript into a book.

InstantPublisher is a book publisher that offers custom printing services. Check out our website today to learn more about how InstantPublisher can make self-publishing a dream come true.

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