How do I come up with ideas for books. I look at things that I’m interested in, and still might interest my reader. So I ask myself, what am I interested in? This question should be a jumping-off point. You’ll hear the advice to “write what you know.” Yet what draws forth my best energy and talent is often the desire to learn more about things we don’t know.
The first step in finding the idea for a novel is to discover your world. My book, The Black Madonna A Pope’s Deadly Obsession came from my desire to know more about the lost documents found by sheepherders written by Jesus’ apostles. It helped me figure out who my characters would be, where the action would take place, and what would go on in that setting. Your choice should always be informed by your interests, so immerse yourself in books, television, movies, and anything else that inspires you. This will help you to create the building blocks for your novel. Trust your own tastes. You’re going to be working with these ideas for a long time, so choose things that interests you enough to sustain you.
Finding the core idea for my novel, is essentially what my book is about. In this question, I try establishing the main ‘idea’. It is the biggest, most essential promise that I’m making to my reader and should always reflect the story’s highest stakes. I promise my reader by the end of the novel (as in Black Madonna) I will have answered questions like, will Luci find the lost codex written by Jesus? Your sole dramatic question depends on understanding the motivations of your hero and villain.