Fantasy Topics, Storytelling Tips, Writing Tips

How to Get New Ideas for Your Fantasy Book

The ultimate guide to brainstorming endless fresh ideas to help you plot your next fantasy best-seller!

Whether you are a published writer, an aspiring writer, a fanfiction author, or just someone who wants to write a book one day, we are all faced with the same problem. At some point, we have to write down some solid ideas. While it is easy to have quick visions of characters, scenes, and dialogue, actually getting to the point where you have a concrete plot idea is difficult.

So here we’ve compiled the ultimate list of tested ways to get your creative juices flowing! You can use this to get a brand new story idea, or to expand upon ideas you already have. Personally, when I get a story idea going, I like to use a bunch of these over the course of a few months to help me fully plot out my book!

  • Listen to Music.
    • Not just any music. Listen to ALL music! Hearing songs or instrumentals you are not familiar with is a great way to get new ideas. Let the lyrics and emotion in the melody help your mind wander.
  • Look at Fantasy Art.
    • Browse the internet to any and all sites that contain fantasy-based art. We’re talking DeviantArt, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram, and everything in between. Save content that really speaks to you.
  • Play a Tabletop Role-Playing Game.
    • Getting into games like Pathfinder help you explore a fantasy world and think creatively about the characters and conflicts within.
  • Have a Fantasy Movie Marathon.
    • Break out movies like the Lord of the Rings and have a long marathon! Keep a notebook or your phone near you to jot down ideas as they come.
  • Go for Long Walks.
    • Walks are great to get your mind going. Pay attention to your surroundings, but also keep a internal dialogue going. It’s great to let your mind freely wander, just don’t forget to jot down ideas as they come! Never trust that you’ll remember when you get home.
  • Go to a Museum.
    • Easier said than done in this age of COVID, but if you can get to a museum that is a fantastic way to see new sights that spark your imagination.
  • Play Dress Up.
    • Let your inner child out and dress up in all kinds of outfits. Costumes are better, but whatever you have will suffice! The purpose is to get your creativity going. Think of what type of character would wear certain clothes, why, and what their history would be.
  • Play a Video Game.
    • Fantasy games like The Legend of Zelda, Elder Scrolls, or Baldur’s Gate 3 are fantastic for brewing new ideas. Let yourself get lost in the game for a few (or more) hours.
  • Watch Movies You Don’t Usually Watch.
    • While fantasy movies are an easy go-to to get ideas, try something in a new genre, as well. Horror, historical, drama, or thriller can open up unexpected lines of ideas. You could even try imaging the plot and characters in a fantasy setting, and see how things would change.
  • Read a Book.
    • Books are great. Read more to stay motivated and see what other authors do.
  • Go Camping.
    • Taking a night out in nature is a great way to broaden your mind.
  • Travel.
    • If you are able, traveling will help you plot books and generate more ideas. As you are exposed to different food, sights, and ways of life, it helps flesh out the world of your book.
  • Read Mythology.
    • Learning about mythology from a variety of cultures is a great way to be inspired.
  • Learn about Archeology.
    • The intrigue within the archeological field is a solid way to get your own ideas going. Trying to discover and research and guess helps you uncover your own story.
  • Flip the Dictionary.
    • If you don’t have a physical dictionary, any book will do. Flip to a page and write down the first word you see. Do this a series of times, and see if you can piece them together into some sort of idea.
  • Draw or Color.
    • You don’t have to be an artist for this to help. Allow yourself to freeform draw, or use an adult coloring book, to get the creative side of your brain going.
  • Start Recording Dreams.
    • Keep a notepad by your bedside, or keep your phone on, and jot down anything from a dream you remember each morning. You will get better at it as time goes on.
  • Set up a “Mood Room”.
    • You don’t have to sacrifice a whole room to this. You can set up a small area, or even do a temporary one-day set up as you take time for yourself. Try to keep a consistent theme, like red, the ocean, food, or weapons. Having that stimulus all around you can help ideas come. If you have the capabilities for mood lighting, that is all the better!
  • Browse a Shop.
    • This can be either a physical store or one online, like Etsy. Browsing their wares, especially if they are fantasy-themed, is a good idea-starter. Just keep your wallet in check!
  • Look at Cards. Do you have any interesting cards in your home? Yugioh cards, Magic the Gathering, tarot cards, or anything else can help ideas flow. Play with them, look at their pictures, or randomly flip to try to generate idea connections.

For those of us that are born writers, writing a book is incredibly fulfilling. But it is also hard work and requires patience, a focus on details, and creativity. Try out all of these ideas, and happy writing!

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