A book is made up of an idea and then how you draw that idea for other people to experience. An agent told me that some people have great ideas but can’t write at all; others have the talent but little imagination. It’s the complete package and if you’re looking for ideas, you’re missing half the book. There are a ton of books and blog articles that aim to help inspire you although they always seem lame to me (“a man wins lots of money, you lose your child… write down what happens next…”).
I think the best ideas are fragments, snippets of things that come to you at all hours of day and night. Many writers carry books on them to catch these ideas before they fade into real life (Jack Kerouac’s number 1 rule was “scribbled secret notebooks, and wild typewritten pages, for yr own joy”). Kathryn Craft on Writer Unboxed talks about how the amalgamation of these random elements can really lead to better ideas. I agree. Much of a book’s ideas can be how these sketches mold into each other, forming a new idea, much better than the sum of their parts.
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