First, ideas are everywhere!
Look around and imagine "what else."
I used to play a game we called, What if, with my kids where we'd pick an object and tell a story about it. In a restaurant we'd pick a painting on the wall or object on the table and challenge each other to tell us the story about it.
A spoon suddenly had a story that dated back to the civil war. A painting was actually about a a buried treasure. It was a exercise in creativity that carried tons of possibilities. Okay, so maybe these stories might not morph into a full novel but its a good exercise in creativity and who knows? It just might spark something that will work.
Here's a few short and sweet prompts to get you started. Pick one and write for 20 minutes. See what comes from it and if you want to share, post it below.
- Finally, she had him. The man who destroyed her life. Now he would pay.
- The dog sat by the road and when Max pulled his truck to the side, it came up to him, but looked back toward the trees and whined. "Are you trying to tell me something?" Max asked as he looked toward the dark woods. He didn't have a good feeling about this.
- He was the last person she wanted to meet here. The man who could tell all the secrets she had so carefully hidden.
- She opened the door and ducked as a large parrot flew in. "Bad man! Bad man! Agggh!"
- A sad looking cat walked across the grave beside me. I leaned down to read the name on the tombstone and gasped. It was mine.
- Dragons never listen and mine was no different. Now I was stuck in this tower and he was trapped below.
- The shabbily dressed man approached me. I had no time for vagrants today and started to walk away. Then he called my name and when I looked into his eyes I saw my first love.
- The surf was wild today. Big waves hit the shore with all of mother nature's raging power. As I grabbed my board Joe touched my arm. "Hey man, don't surf in a hurricane. It's crazy."
- She was ignoring me and that wasn't going to work. I stepped in front of her and held up the knife.
- Lies never start big. They're little mean things that grow like weeds. One leading into another until they tangle surrounded you and take you down. Ask me, I know. One little lie and now I might not make it out alive.
The best way to keep that writing muscle growing is simple; Write! Write what you know, write what you can imagine. Just get it down on paper (or computer!) and make it happen. The muse only shows up when it knows you're writing.
Go to it, make it happen.