Latest News

Story Seeking 101

Sometimes, a Shiny New Idea will just come to you, like magic. Most often it'll hit during a strange and completely random time, but that won't matter. You'll be so stoked about its electric arrival that you'll just become a slave to it, instantly, and won't be able to stop thinking about shiny new details to add to your new synopsis or outline or document. Those ideas are great. You know they're good from the get-go, and cannot wait to start with them.

But what happens when you are the one looking for the idea, and not the other way around? Summoned or forced inspiration can often turn out some pretty embarrassing-bad ideas before you come across a diamond in the rough.

Like that one time where I thought it'd be awesome to write an entire book about a girl who pisses off a gypsy known as the Tarantula Lady, then starts seeing tarantulas everywhere, even though nobody else can see them. THE HORROR!


Um, so yeah. I find that during these times of Currently Seeking Kick Ass Story Ideas, our brains always insist on finding, then seriously considering and dissecting the idea of, terrible ideas that will end up fizzling out after a few good brainstorming sessions that leave you feeling disoriented and lost and completely unsure if you're capable of coming up with anything at all, ever again.

So what's the trick to getting through all the crap and right to the good stuff that will end up turning into The One? (Of the moment, anyway.) Getting through all the crap, of course!

While there isn't really a way to altogether skip that painful idea phase, spending a whole lot of brain energy on a "meh" story idea that ends up getting banished forever is anything but wasted time. In the end it will have helped force you forward enough to come across a much better idea, one that you will see the light with and have your glorious EUREKA! moment.

It's the same important electric-magic that you get with the ideas that find you, just... delayed a little. And even though it may seem like certain trends or other YA things are moving at a ridiculous pace, the truth of the matter is that publishing is most often very, very slow.

So dive right into those Tarantula Lady ideas, spend some time trying to figure them out, then when it's time to do so, just move on and don't feel obligated to carry out your previous efforts with it. You'll thank yourself later!
Amy Lukavics

Amy lurks within the forested mountains of Arizona. When she isn't reading or writing creepy stories, she enjoys cooking, crafting, and playing games across many platforms. She is the author of Daughters Unto Devils (Harlequin Teen 2015) and The Women In The Walls (Harlequin Teen 2016).

Posts by Amy

website twitter instagram tumblr

  • Blogger Comments
  • Facebook Comments


  1. I'm so terrified by the picture that I find it difficult to focus on the post! But after putting my hand up to block it, I agree that thinking through ideas is great mental exercise.

  2. Same as Tarah, the picture was hard to ignore! But I do agree that it can be demoralizing to brainstorm and come back with nothing. What's worse is when you brainstorm cool ideas, try to outline, and THEN figure out it's crap. So when I find those gemstones that are actually worth something, I treasure them. :)

  3. I needed to read this post today because I'm searching for my next SNI and I'm not sure I've found it yet! It's nice to hear that if I keep brainstorming and thinking of ideas, a worthwhile one will come to me. :)

  4. Yes, only I find myself always in the idea phase. Sometimes it's difficult to write one idea when you're yanking your writing legs out of brainstorming muck. Don't you agree?

  5. I'm completely freaked out by that spider. I'm pretty it's the sister spider to the one that climbed on my head in the pool a few years ago that nobody told me about until I could see it on my face....


    Awesome post.

  6. Please, please, please, no spiders! I had one of those suckers - Huntsman - under my laptop one day, like when it was on my lap!!!!
    Two things about a North American in Australia, who grew up with, you know bears and wolves and stuff, and now has to face spiders and snakes. My two phobias! Great eh? Don't marry an Australian. This is where it lands you! : )
    As far as ideas popping up. I love how they do that. How they literally 'pop' inside my head making me rattle for a few minutes and probably make me look more than a little odd. I've got a long list. Now I only need time!


Comments are moderated on posts two weeks old or more -- please send us a tweet if yours needs approval!

Item Reviewed: Story Seeking 101 Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Amy Lukavics