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Your view can be your next book – tips for creating story outlines

Your view can be your next book - tips for creating story outlines


Look out your window – what do you see?

All the pictures in this post are views from my windows, but they are more than just magnificent views, they are inspirations for story outlines. Your view can be your next book. From these few pictures I’ve posted, there are so many possible platforms for a story.  Take a moment and look out your window – what do you see? Let your mind wander and write the story.

Your view can be your next book - tips for creating story outlines


Create your story

Take notes while your mind is creating the story. You will be surprised with what you can come up. Here are some ideas I got from my views.

Storyline #1

A fire breaks out on the mountain and spreads rapidly, threatening the small town below. Who started the fire? Was it arson, accidental or a freak of nature? Will the town survive? was there any loss of lives? If arson, who is the arsonist? Will he be caught? Why did he start the fire?  Is he a serial arsonist?

Storyline #2

A hiker/ family/ group are lost on the mountain. Who are those that are lost? Are they locals? Where did they come? What were they doing on the mountain? Who are their families? What was going on in their lives at the time they became missing? What methods were used to try and find them? Were they found? Were they dead or alive?

Another side to this storyline is that it could take place in winter. How will they survive the cold?

Storyline #3

A huge development company wants to build on the mountain and turn the small quaint little town into a city with housing tracks, new roads, and attractions. The residents of the town don’t want this to happen and begin a protest, rallying together to save their town. What do they do to take a stand? Are they able to save the town?


Your view can be your next book - tips for creating story outlines


Ideas for stories are all around us

From just looking out of my windows, I was able to come up with three possible storylines. Take note of your surroundings. Always carry a notebook and jot down any inspirations you may encounter throughout your day. We are surrounded by stories waiting to be unleashed.

Finding ideas for characters

You can take this one step further and seek ideas for your characters from people you come across every day. Busy places are great for seeking ideas for character development

  • Airports
  • Parks
  • Concerts and events
  • Beaches
  • Restaurants
  • Shopping malls

Again take your notebook. When you spot someone that fits your character type, take lots of notes. Paying attention to detail:

  • Hair color, length, and style
  • Skin color
  • Body weight/type
  • Posture
  • Do they have an accent?
  • Their wardrobe
  • Any jewelry?
  • What name would suit them?
  • What are they doing? At that precise moment when you spotted them
  • How can you use this character in your story?

When it comes to creating characters, you want them to be believable to your readers. What better way than creating them from real people.

Sometimes it’s hard to come up with story ideas, but once you start looking closer at your surroundings, the endless scenarios that your mind begins to create are fascinating.

These are methods I use when creating platforms for a book. I would love to hear what methods you have used.


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30 thoughts on “Your view can be your next book – tips for creating story outlines”

  1. It’s funny, but all three of the storylines you created run pretty close to events that happened near our home over the past several months. I can see how the view would suggest a plot idea – even if these things weren’t happening in real life around us 🙂

  2. I studied theater in college. And I remember being given exercises like this to flesh our our character. These are great ideas because creativity can so often use some inspiration.

  3. I have had people tell me I should write a book, but I am not that detail orientated. I can tell a great story, but small details that add content seem to allude me. That is why I blog instead.

  4. This is a really great way to practice inspiration and outlining! I love it! I have an issue with making too many characters as it is, but using the landscape for inspiration is too perfect!

  5. Wow, you have a gorgeous view! I’m so jealous. Thanks for the awesome tips! 🙂 You’re able to break it down so easily. Maybe one day I’ll write a book 🙂

  6. I do love to write but if you ask me what kind of writer I am, I can say that I am an occasional writer. I easily gets bored focusing on one thing. So if I am not writing or blogging, I am reading, or I am studying a foreign language. Actually, my friends and colleagues also wonder how do I allot my time to too many activities. I guess, it is just because i love learning and growing at the same time. You have a passion for writing. Keep it up!

  7. WOW I love this idea. I write but I never thought to do something like this. Living in TX there are not greatest views but your post changed how I see it in my writing. Thanks

  8. I like listening to old folks stories and they inspired me to share stories in my blog the way they described theirs. Its very enjoyable and creative!

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