Coming up with book ideas can be hard, but even the bestselling authors can struggle with this. A completed book idea doesn't just pop into your head! Sometimes, we can think of book ideas when we least expect it. For example, Stephen King, my writing idol, was walking across a bridge when he thought of the Three Billy Goats Gruff, and wondered what it would be like if a troll lived under a city. That birthed “It”.
He came up with another when he was listening to a religious radio channel and a preacher said this generation would destroy the world. That birthed The Stand. One more example: Stephen King’s son, Owen, almost got hit by a car, and he wondered what he would have done. That birthed Pet Semetary.
Personally, I came up with my idea from the lyrics of a song. I like this method best because songs, of course, are art, and art is open to interpretation. So if I hear a song that’s abstract, I may just be able to build a story after it. After all, songs are just mini stories.
Another way to come up with ideas is to re-imagine old tales just like Stephen King did with The Three Billy Goats Gruff. If you get stuck, just play the what-if game.
I think that it’s important for writer’s to just be able to go off in weird tangents. For example, another author friend of mine, S.G. Redling, came up with her book idea Flowertown because she was using hand sanitizer and thought to herself ‘what if this is a biological weapon?’