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Fostering Literary Adventures: Good Book Ideas Fiction Writers Pursue

As artists, we’re always searching for inspiration to fuel our next creative projects. Whether brainstorming short stories or plotting a novel, it’s important to explore diverse themes, settings, and characters that captivate the imagination. Here are some good book ideas fiction writers must explore to enhance their creativity. We hope you find them stimulating as well on your literary adventures.

Good Book Ideas Fiction Writer Must Explore

Historical Fiction

Stepping into another era offers limitless possibilities for dynamic plots and multifaceted characters. The past provides a removed context to examine enduring human truths with fresh perspectives. Some interesting eras that continue inspiring historical fiction include:

  • The Renaissance: A time of artistic and intellectual rebirth with complex political undercurrents offers exciting opportunities. Stories could follow artists, scholars, or nobility navigating cultural change.
  • World War II: One of the most consequential periods in modern history provides a dramatic backdrop. Perhaps explore untold stories through the lenses of soldiers, refugees, or citizens affected by occupation.
  • The Gilded Age/Progressive Era: Late 19th century America saw rapid industrialization, surging immigration, and the rise of robber barons. Social reformers and the working class struggling for dignity make for engaging protagonists.
  • Other Eras: You can also consider lesser-known historical settings or epochs outside the Western canon. Bringing overlooked communities and underrepresented voices to light enhances both the entertainment and educative value of fiction.

Mysteries and Thrillers

Few genres match the page-turning thrills of mysteries and suspense. Some themes that lead to twisting plots and edge-of-your-seat climaxes include:

  • Political Intrigue: Expose corruption, follow secret agendas, or uncover sabotage within powerful systems and institutions.
  • Espionage: Craft spy adventures set during Cold War tensions or modern geopolitical flashpoints. Protagonists could be idealistic agents, or ordinary citizens dragged into high-stakes games.
  • Serial Crimes: Develop a compelling and unsettling case for a detective (or amateur sleuth) to solve as the body count rises. Psychological thrillers exploring darker human motives can leave readers unsettled long after the final page.
  • Supernatural Mysteries: Blend reality with ghostly encounters, occult mysteries, or other unexplained phenomena to probe life’s imponderables. This combines mystery with speculative elements.

Contemporary settings and recognizable characters cultivate reader empathy

Contemporary/Literary Fiction

More than explosive plots or sweeping backdrops, literary fiction examines inner human experiences. Contemporary settings and recognizable characters cultivate reader empathy. Consider works about:

  • Family Relationships: Explore how people fit together, fall apart, and forge new connections within the primary unit of society. Multigenerational stories provide depth and interweaving arcs.
  • Personal Journeys of Identity: Follow protagonists grappling with questions around sexuality, gender, culture, faith, or life purpose. Track emotional maturation and self-discovery.
  • Everyday Struggles: Highlight social issues through nuanced portrayals of problems like poverty, mental illness, addiction, or injustice and how “regular folks” persevere with grit, humor, and community.
  • Love in Modern Forms: Develop compelling romances exploring how romance, partnership, attraction, and commitment take shape among diverse groups, orientations, and family types today.

Fantasy and Science Fiction

For boundless creativity, these imaginative genres let your visions run wild. Possibilities include:

  • Epic Fantasy Worlds: Craft immersive, meticulously detailed societies with complex histories, languages, magic systems, and non-human races. George R.R. Martin and J.R.R. Tolkien show the power and popularity of this subgenre.
  • Post-Apocalyptic Landscapes: Rebuild civilization after plagues, climate disasters, or wars and examine humanity’s endurance in grim new conditions. Magical or sci-fi elements could introduce mutations or mysterious technologies.
  • Space Operas: Develop intergalactic empires, spacefaring clans, and colonies, First Contact among civilizations, or battles between futuristic armies and alliances across planets and star systems.
  • Alternate Histories: Rewrite past wars, societal trajectories, or scientific discoveries to envision compelling “what if” scenarios and resulting branches of reality. Philip K. Dick showed mastery in blending science fiction with hallucinatory philosophies.

Children’s and Young Adult Books

Exploring the world through a child’s eyes can provide an imaginative lens. Consider works about:

  • Coming-of-Age Adventures: Follow young protagonists as they embark on quests of self-discovery. This could involve braving scary woods to save a friend, joining an underground club in their neighborhood, or learning crucial life skills away at summer camp. Thread in themes of friendship, courage, empowerment, and lessons learned along the journey.
  • Fantastical Worlds: Build magical realms, detailed fantasy societies, or supernatural realities that parallel our own. For example, craft a school of magic hidden in plain sight or a rural town with mysterious secrets. Give children protagonists special abilities to face challenges like social anxiety, struggling family dynamics, or bullying at school through an entertaining veil.
  • Friendships and Relationships: Dive into the complex emotions of childhood, from the initial stages of bonding to dramatic fallingouts resolved by important life lessons. Portray group dynamics, first crushes, negotiating popularity, and finding one’s people. Examine how peer connections lay the foundations for who we become.

Comedic Works

Laughter has proven therapeutic for both readers and writers. Consider works that illuminate the absurd or provoke smiles through:

  • Satire & Parody: Lampoon-specific targets like absurd political rhetoric, convoluted wellness trends, or formulaic genres through wit and exaggeration. Push readers to view issues from a new angle or reflect on societal norms with a wry smile.
  • Romantic Comedy: Weave will-they-or-won’t-they couples through humorous hijinks of double entendres, botched dates, and friends playing Cupid. Balance lighthearted antics with emotionally intelligent relationship-building audiences find heartwarming.
  • Absurdist & Surreal Comedy: Embrace wordplay, chronological disorder, and improbable connections between unrelated ideas. For example, center a story around a town where cats are the real politicians or a man trying to return an ice cream truck that melted in the rain.
  • Coming-of-Age Humor: Leverage comedic misunderstandings and embarrassment of youth to portray life’s lessons with empathy and levity, such as suburban hijinks with a meddling paper boy or summer camp adventures with a comedic cabinmate duo.
Good book ideas fiction

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Whether pulpy page-turners or meditative literary works, these ideas across genres have fueled some of history’s most enduring novels. Now, it’s your turn to transform them into new worlds and stories through your creative vision. Experiment boldly, and let your imagination lead the way! Want some more good book ideas? Fiction writers must check out Charles Dennis’ latest novel, Balm of Angels. This well-written novel promises to transport readers with its vivid setting and complex characters. Order your copy now!


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