How do you come up with your story plot?

To both starting and long-time writers, how do y’all naturally get inspired with your plot ideas?

Whenever I try to start a story, for some reason it’s just natural to me to come up with the small details (that can be plotted much later) first. For example, when thinking of a magical system, I’ve already got the basic rules and even specific powers of certain characters. Problem is, I don’t have any clear plot at all to fit it to.

Does anyone else think like this too, or do your plots just come to you first?

For me plot always comes to me one way or another. I would get inspired by some situation from the film or book and add my own twist in it. Then the plot starts replaying in my head multiple times adding more and more details and events to my plot. That is how my mind works xD


I tend to dream of mine and remember it the next day. Or it comes to me during the most bizarre times.

Once I have the idea, I think of the scene and just start describing it with key words and develop it further from there.


Oh yea I remebered that I was inspired by dreams 2 times and that would also happen in some bizzare dream xD


They are mostly inspired from the non lead characters I witness in movies or books, and I try to imagine what would their solo story be like.


My current novel is based on real life and fiction all into one book.

The MC deals with real life issues while dreams of becoming an author just like a lot of people but also has a lot of fear and low confidence due to the fact that she is disabled :wheelchair:. She Sticks up for what she believes in, but can’t always stick up for her own personal reasons.

She is based on me, while the actual main story is based on fiction.


You can actually get some good ideas that way XD

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I once or twice had a dream about a story. When I woke up in the morning, I tried to remember the dream, but of course I couldn’t remember it anymore. I was so pissed.


I am plot-first, so I see a series of events, based on historic events or personalities, write them down in the outline, then keep going over them, adding linkages and more events, motivations and emotions.

I compare it against the plot beats from Saves the Cat/Writes the Novel book, and once I feel that I get the basic structure right, I am happy with my plotline. Then I can start writing and experimenting based on that layout.


Most of my plot ideas are inspired by films and/or books. Then I start to add more details and events to it.


On the contrary: I have one basic idea (might be an encounter, might be a concept, might be an ending), and nothing else xD

I don’t even have main characters!

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Then some plots are based on events I would want to happen to me

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I mean, how I come up with plot is a lot different from how I generate ideas. Usually the seeds of my stories come from watching movies or reading books. My current WIP started from reading The Selection many eons ago and I beat it back to life through watching documentaries on the Belle Epoque.

As far as coming up with the actual plot, I swear by the Save The Cat! beat sheet that I’ve modified a little for my own purposes. Plus listening to music and scrolling through miles of Pinterest helps generate ideas to fill in those gaps :smiley: If you’re struggling to come up with a clear plot and you’re a plotter, you should try the beat sheet or maybe the seven point story structure if you like a looser plot! Helps get pacing down.

Snap, I do mine the same, it comes to me and I write it, my first books a trilogy just flowed, I just kept linking the story line, and enjoyed doing it.
Now I have five or six going at one time, I jump from one to another, once an idea pops into my head.I just do it for fun, see how it turns out, I may not be the best at paragraphing, but that’s a small thing in the concept of all things.

The inspiration for the basic outline of the plot I mainly get from other books and studying pictures that belong to the same genre I want to write. However, how the events of the story will unfold or work out is something I like to discover during the writing process by fantasizing about my story. I’m not really a planner, so large part of my stories are written spontaneously.

I do something similar. I write Fantasy too, so sometimes i get a fun idea for a power or ability, form a character around that, and then put them into the story. Most of the time, when I get an idea its just a scene, one little thing that happens or most often, I come up with a character. Like right now, I have one million scenes and places I want to get that give me a basic structure for an overarching story. However, I have no real plot line either.

I was legitimately worried that I was one of the only people that did this, and I felt kinda bad about it. A lot of the time, I put a twist on it to replace some part of the story I didn’t like. For example, my favorite arc in the entire story started because I didnt like one tiny thing in a story I liked overall, and it spiraled so far out of control from there I almost completely forgot about the plot device that started the whole thing.

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I also have that uncontrolable feeling creating the whole book from one thing that I didn’t like. I would never copy other book I would just be inspired to create book that I would want to read. It’s a good thing because if you create the book that you want to read, there are chances that there will be other people who would also want to read a book that you are writing.

exactly! There are some great ideas out there. It’s hard to come up with a totally original story.

As I read in the article there is no such thing as a original idea, but it doesn’t mean that you can’t create a unique idea :). Our idea is the mix of multiple inspired book, comics and TV series. Weirdly enough, I managed create the plot from the Minecraft Gameplay (that youtubers weren’t roleplaying), a new book that there was no hint of Minecraft in it, that is when I realised that I need to do something without my imagination xD.