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In many ways, the novel is the apex of all creative writing. Whether you’re a New York Times best-selling author like Stephen King or new writer self-publishing a sci-fi novel for the first time, writing a novel takes tremendous skill, patience, and dedication. It also takes a great amount of creativity, and this creativity begins with choosing a compelling story idea.

For some lucky people, novel ideas and short story ideas flow like water from a fountain. For the rest of us, however, creative writing is a more deliberate process. If you’re someone who could use some tips for seeking out the best novel ideas, here are some ideas to get you started on the book writing process—from a thriller to a love story to a murder mystery to science fiction writing.