• anthony izzo

For Writers: How to Get Story Ideas

Sometimes finding a story idea can be as simple as looking at an image and asking a few questions. I purchased a bunch of stock art to make book covers last year. One of the images depicted a crow with a dark, moody background.

After thinking it over, I came up with a title: Season of Crows. At this point, I had no idea what a "Season of Crows" was, or what it meant. I decided the crows in my story would be harbingers of bad things. Maybe they coincided with the appearance of an evil entity. An evil entity that returned to haunt a town every so often. The locals in the story would believe the crows were tied to bad things happening. Certain characters would come across the entity, or perhaps had a history with the creature.

I had to flesh out my evil entity and some characters. I also came up with a fictional town and worked out its history, and some of the bad guys in the book. From there, I started writing, stopping to flesh out more of the story as I went (I don't outline beyond making some basic story notes). This eventually ended up as a 55,000-word novel.

If your stuck for an idea, pick an image that's striking and ask yourself questions. There might be a story hiding in there.

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Listening to my dogs bark, as they're relegated to the back room during Trick or Treating hours. I'm working on a horror novella called Legends, which just passed the 20K word mark. I still have to pu