Top 5 (Surprising) Resources For Your Next Book Idea

girl with ideas

In the early stages of your writing career, you need all the inspiration and idea factories you can find. So, for you I made this quick list of 5 surprising resources for your next book idea (along with the next 10).

  1. The Nexus (No, not the wrestling, Skyrim, or Stock Market Nexus)
  2. Busy public venues (like the mall or theater lines)
  3. Library (that place with all the books, you know)
  4. Movies (we’re not talking about copying or, God forbid, retconning, but inspiration)
  5. The Bible

Okay, let’s dig in and see how to unearth the golden tickets from these 5 bars of chocolaty goodness.

The buckelsbooks version of the Nexus is the delightful place your mind wanders to when you’re watching a show or movie or reading a book or (supposed to be) listening to someone who’s chatting you up. The more I write the more I find my mind wandering to the Nexus. I often have to ask people to repeat themselves. Of course, I make sure to explain my author-attributed ADHD, or as I call it: AAADHD.

The Nexus is a phantasmagoric land of adventure. Anything goes. Here you can cobble together disparate ideas to create one awesome unified book idea. Here is where I combined genetic engineering with magic to fictionalize up Mythcorp. An entire series has sprung up from this tinkering in the Nexus. (I was guilty of DWI: Driving While Imagining).

Go ahead, let your mind wander down corridors never before trodden. You never know what you might conjure in the Nexus. Go wild! (This post in the Take it to the Bank series fleshes out the details in a fun way for you.)

Best-Selling Authors Do It, So It’s Okay

Public Venues: Many of the great best-selling authors (and many great not best-selling authors) enjoy going out in public and eavesdropping. Go ahead, this is guilt-free stuff here. It’s for research. I use that line all the time whenever my brother asks me why I’m learning something new and strange or when I hang around new and strange folk.

Listen to their dialogue. It’s absurd and clipped and visceral and real. An expression you never heard before might inspire an idea. At the very least you will pick up the rhythm and flow and staccato beat of realistic dialogue.

I don’t have to explain the whole library deal, right?

May great books have been inspired by movies (and the other way around, naturally). I’m not talking about watching Aliens and then writing a sci-fi horrorshow with a fantastic female protagonist. If you allow your writers noodle to pick up on the inspiration behind the writing of the movie, if you let your subconscious tweaker revel in the sheer pleasure of a great story, the movie might just inspire a totally different idea.

LISTEN: The more you write, the more cleverly you will watch and read. You begin picking up on subtle clues you never noticed before. Motivations that were lost on your fanboy or fangirl dazzle eyes will be clearly seen through your writer’s specs. With this superior grasp and deeper insight, your mind will conjure its own original ideas.

Not the Poisonwood Bible (Although that’s good too)

And last but not least is the Bible! Countless novelists have caught the Bible bug and scratched out winners left and right. Firstly there’s the 7,700 unique names (Magog and the Rabshakah are a couple of my favorites; they would make great names for space opera characters).

Then you have the epic showdowns between good and evil. Amazingly, evil wins on occasion in the books of the Bible, at least on the outset, which is more than you can say for those fat fantasies of the ‘70’s and ‘80’s and ‘90’s where no matter the odds you knew the bad guy would always eat it.

And then of course there’s the supernatural side of things. This divine undercurrent adds spice to every story inside, an unpredictable element. TIP: don’t fall for the dues ex machina fail so many subwriters have indulged in over the years. YOUR SUPERNATURAL elements should always be secondary, and they should never negate all that has come before with some super awesome alodatious last minute save.

(I’d still like someone to explain to me why those pretentious eagles in LOTR didn’t help earlier)

Anyway, food for thought. I hope you picked up a trick or two, an inspiring method for attaining ideas for your own stories. And remember: only you can write that book.

WORD OF THE DAY: Plunderbund

A plunderbund is a thieving group of businessmen. Yes indeed, the next time I have a meeting with the bosses of my boss, I’ll know just how to address that group. That pilfering plunderbund is gonna get an earful for shiznit!

Unique Ways to Make Your Writing Stand Out

alex a clockwork orange

Play With Your Language, Not Your Food

There comes a time, oh my brothers, when young chellovecks like us must viddy the bugatties to be found in cracking the rules of writing, and make up their own rassoodocks to do the same. Some of the very like best wordslingers have done such. Yes they have.

That was Nadsat, Anthony Burgess’s fictitious terminology, fully realized in his work A Clockwork Orange. A prime example of one clever way authors can play with their words.

The Art of the Craft

It can be scary at first, manipulating language. You might be asking yourself ‘What rights have I to alter established speech, to rearrange words or even conjure up new adjectives and idioms from whole cloth?’ You have the right—oh my brothers and little sisters—because you are a writer. You are a creative force for good. Breathe life into staid forms, be they sheets of 20 weight paper or a blank screen in Microsoft Word.

The question you should be asking is ‘Who has the right to tell me how to create?’

Consider this: many bestsellers and classic works employ unique language or crafty rearranging of prose or a complete disregard of sentence structure and punctuation. Just read Cormac McCarthy’s The Road! Old Cormac didn’t give a darn about anything that had come before. He considered his story and the best way to present it, and so it unfolded, a stark bleak writing style perfectly metaphoring the world of his story.


And looky here, I made up a word on the fly, and though you may never have read it before, I bet you a silver quarter you didn’t stumble over the word, and you knew exactly what I was getting at. Metaphoring. Sounds kind of kinky you think about it. You could say I picked it up in a writer’s harem.

The point is that I enjoyed making it up, and it adds flavor to the writing. Lends a good jolt of whimsy to the post. MAKES IT MEMORABLE

Notice also if you will, that I’ve employed a few fragmentary sentences. This is another writing technique often used by skilled authors to lend color to a black and white work. It gives a story a nice prosy shine when done right. Jonathan Kellerman employs fragments with great skill. E Anne Proulx won the Pulitzer Prize with The Shipping News, a work which—I’m guessing—is constructed using perhaps 60% fragmentary sentences.

But note that playing with your language and phraseology and structure should never be done simply as a gimmick. It should always serve the purposes of the story. In The Shipping News, the fragments appear in greatest frequency near the beginning, representing Quoyle’s inability to express himself in anything other than fragmented speech and action. As the novel progresses there are fewer fragmented sentences. Quoyle concordantly improves in his facility with words and social interaction.

In other words, Proulx’s unique use of circumcised sentences fulfilled a purpose, that of the writing itself paralleling her MC’s progression as a character.

These distinctive styles and playful manipulations of language also make the writing seem faster-paced. Seem faster. The actual reading may not go any quicker with such writing, but the pace of the tale seems quicker because it is so enjoyably distinctive.

Or look at Lovecraft. The horror master applied more adjectives to his yarns than old Dutch frigates produced rats. He must’ve given Strunk and White strokes with his prolix descriptions. And yet, it is this very conspicuousness which made his work iconic and inimitable. Of course, he did not get to enjoy any laud and honor during his lifetime. Still . . .

Image result for shrugging gif supernatural

Some attempts may flounder. But for Bog’s sake why not grow some yarbles and take the chance on creating something truly original? It’ll be fun, and your experimental narrative may just prove to be the MS that helps you climb out of the slush pile, break out and win yourself an agent or some sales—or perhaps even both, who knows. So don’t be a globby bottle of cheap stinking chip-oil. Take risks, be bold!

But then, what do I know? It’s all subjective, innit? Still . . .

Surprising Ways to Promote Your E-Books

open book with sparklesIf you’ve been wondering about unique ways to promote your books–and therefore your career–then I hope this post will help you on your way.

Boldness and ingenuity are the keys you seek

Robert McParland’s BEST-SELLER: A Century of America’s Favorite Books is filled with hundreds of best-selling books. How did all these authors manage to boost credibility and create reader interest in their manuscripts?

They were bold and employed ingenuity in their methods of promotion. When all the standard methods fell short, they took the next step.

Because they knew the grim statistics, like the following:

2018 saw 304,000 new books published in America! And that’s only those published traditionally. A record 1,000,000 books were self-published!

Amid such vast numbers it is inevitable that hundreds of thousands will be buried under the onslaught of words–including most probably yours and mine.

So you have to make your work stand out

There are countless ways to do this. But to harness your manuscripts’ potential and make the masses stand up and take note, you need to embrace two essential tips.

(1) Be unique (or ingenious) in the ways you promote your books. If you want to truly stand out among the million new books to be published this year, you need to think of techniques of self-promotion that few others even consider.

(2) Be bold in your promotion. Don’t be afraid to stand on the rooftops and shout forth praises for your new book. (Don’t actually do this though, as it won’t help–probably.)

agatha christie

Agatha Christie, best-selling novelinst in history, did something so bizarre that to this day no one is truly sure what happened and why. But we know one thing: it boosted interest in her, and by extension, in her books. She vanished for eleven days. A huge search was conducted, strange signs discovered, and when she was found it was not as anyone had expected (it was much like one of her books). Check out the fascinating story here, at

Continue doing all the suggested things, like promoting and participaing at Goodreads, making book trailers, Facebook promotions, giveaways, discounts, email lists, and all that jazz. Everyone else is already doing all those things too.

So don’t forget to be unique in addition to the above methods.

In boldness you become fearless!

Ask yourself, what do I have to lose in boldly promoting my work? If it’s not selling, then you’re not risking much in doing something bold to sell it, now are you? Successful book promoters have:

  • Sold copies out of their trunks
  • Gone in person to publishers and agents
  • Purchased ad space in unexpected publications
  • Given away short stories connected to their full length book

You need to start thinking of your work and yourself in positive, bold, and unique ways:

  1. Consider yourself a professional author
  2. Know that your work is of high quality
  3. Don’t be afraid to self-promote (no one else will do it for you until you do it first)
  4. Love your baby
  5. Let your light shine
  6. You have what it takes
  7. You are the absolute best person to write that story; you are the authority, the expert on your created world
  8. Have fun doing what you love (it is a privilege and a gift to be able to write, so if you can learn to make money doing this, more power to you!

collection of fantasy book covers

Remember, once you get the ball rolling through your own unique and bold ways, your career will begin to take off. If you have already achieved some success in this regard, perhaps you could be good enough to share your idea will your fellow writers here? That’s the great thing about this industry, we’re not competitors.

A success story for one writer is inspiration for the rest of us! Thank you, and God bless