There are times when we all need a boost of inspiration. Writing a book is a mentally draining experience. It even takes more energy to continue to present a fresh story every time you produce something new. The last thing you want your die-hard fans to say is that you’re rehashing old stories, characters, and plots into something slightly different.
If you’re really out of ideas, do what I call a picture method.
Look at this picture I pulled from Pinterest:
Now, ask yourself some questions about the picture:
- Who is she?
- Who is the man with the hands out?
- What is the woman doing other than casting some kind of spell or maybe offering a magic item?
- Who are the men behind her?
Think about twenty to thirty questions to ask about this picture. Just the questions! Maybe get your close friends to help you.
That’s just to get you started, so now we need to start answering those questions:
- The woman is a queen, the men in the background are her vassals, the dukes of the queendom’s parliament.
- The man is the protagonist of the story, but she’s casting a spell to execute him. Let’s take this a step further. She’s the man’s sister, but she’s not the villain of the story.
- This is taking place in a temple of their gods. Their gods are living, interactive beings who have called for the man’s death.
So what’s at stake? Why is the Queen executing her brother?
- Because he is a threat to her claim to the throne. Their mother recently passed away and it is the culture of this nation that siblings are required to eliminate all other claimants. He doesn’t want to fight and kill his sister, so he surrenders.
- Why are they battling again? Because the Queen Mother died. Many people think the Queen Mother died of old age, but she was assassinated. The power behind the assassination was one of the dukes who sees one of the siblings as a puppet to manipulate for his own ends.
- The duke himself has an alliance with another nation who have long since suffered under the Queen Mother’s yoke. They are trying to break free from her influence and maybe renegotiate with a weaker ruler.
Now you have the basics of a plot — a foreign power along with a duke assassinates the Queen Mother, sparking the political maneuvering culminating into a final battle between the prince and princess for the throne.