Hi,I would like to come up with a unique idea for a novel which no other author has used. I want to be the first to write the story and create something unique. Do you have any ideas that might be appropriate (no romance)? How can you help?

Answer: If I gave you an idea, then I would be denying you the experience of coming up with a unique idea on your own.

Moreover, an idea that excites one writer may seem dull as dishwater to another. You want an idea that you can be enthusiastic about, and that can only come from your own imagination.

There are lots of things you can do to find an idea that excites you, the most important of which is to start paying attention and writing down ideas as they come to you. Eventually, if you are persistent, an idea will come along that demands to be written.

In the meantime, there are plenty of things you can do to "prime the pump" and make it easier for the right idea to catch your attention.

Here are a few...

* Watch movies, read books, and ask yourself what you would have done to make each story better.

* Make a list of stories you have loved in your life. Look for common elements (character types, themes, genres, plots, etc.).

* Ask yourself how you might do a twist on a cliche or established genre, or combine elements of more than one genre into a new story.

* Do writing prompts and exercises.

* Make yourself write 3 pages every day - even if all you are writing is stuff like "This exercise is boring. I don't know what to write."

* Take random words or photographs and write little stories based on them.

* Get a brief logline for an existing story, and change one thing about it. Write a story based on the changed idea.

* When ever you go somewhere, try to imagine what kind of stories could happen in the places you see.

* Watch people in a shopping mall. Make up stories about them.

* Read nonfiction, which can be a great source of ideas as well. (If you like science fiction, read science. If you like historical fiction, read history. If you like crime fiction, read true crime or forensic science, etc.)

Best of luck.

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