Writers Looking For A Story – How To Find Your Next Idea

Mostly True Memoirs

Writers Looking For A Story

As a writer, you’ve probably experienced the exhilarating rush of creativity that accompanies a new story idea. However, there are times when that well of inspiration runs dry. It leaves you wondering where you can find your next compelling tale. Never fear! Stories are abundant; all you need to do is pay attention to the world around you. Today we’ll explore real-life examples of published writers who found inspiration in unexpected places, proving that extraordinary stories are hiding in the ordinary.

The Hitchhiker's Guide To the Galaxy
Interpreter of Maladies
The Kite Runner
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
The Telling Room


Finding Humor in the Mundane

Let’s start with humor – a potent ingredient in storytelling. Douglas Adams, author of “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy,” found comedic inspiration in the banality of everyday life. As he sat in a field in Innsbruck, pondering the absurdity of electronic devices and their instructions, the idea for the “Hitchhiker’s Guide” was born. Adams tapped into the humorous side of our dependency on technology, turning everyday gadgets into a laugh-out-loud space opera.

Beauty in Elegance

For writers seeking eloquence, sometimes simplicity is the key. Consider Jhumpa Lahiri, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of “Interpreter of Maladies.” She found her story while dining at a restaurant in Boston. Observing an elderly couple share a quiet, tender moment, Lahiri saw the beauty in the elegance of their relationship. The result? A collection of poignant short stories that celebrated the nuances of human emotions and connections.

Exploring Bittersweet Realities

The bittersweet aspect of life often provides rich fodder for writers seeking to evoke emotions. In “The Kite Runner,” Khaled Hosseini drew inspiration from his own experiences. He grew up in Afghanistan and witnessed the devastating effects of war. Through his novel, Hosseini delved into complex relationships, redemption, and the ache of nostalgia, giving readers a powerful and moving narrative.

Learning from Informational Stories

Inspiration for a story can come from the desire to inform and educate readers about important topics. Rebecca Skloot’s “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” is a prime example of an informational story. Skloot’s interests led her on a journey to uncover the story of Henrietta Lacks and her impact on medical science. By blending science, history, and personal accounts, Skloot crafted a gripping narrative that enlightens and captivates readers.

Tapping into Hidden Stories

Sometimes, the most compelling stories are the ones hiding in plain sight. Journalist Michael Paterniti stumbled upon one such story while on assignment in Spain. He met a quirky cheese maker, Juan Parez. His fascination with the man led him to pen “The Telling Room.” Paterniti weaved together elements of biography, travelogue, and memoir to tell the tale of a small Spanish village and the power of storytelling.

Writers looking for a story need not look far; stories are all around us. Whether it’s the humor in our daily routines, the elegance of human interactions, bittersweet realities, informational discoveries, or hidden narratives waiting to be unveiled, the world is full of inspiration. As demonstrated by real-life examples of published authors, the key is to pay attention and let curiosity guide you. Embrace the wonders of the world around you and unleash your creativity because never know where the next extraordinary tale might be hiding.

Liz Brenner

Liz Brenner

Everyone has a story to tell.

Even you.

Especially you.

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