Having an initial idea for your novel is a fantastic place to start. However, keeping the reader engaged is the whole point. A novel has to start with an initial idea, but it also needs some twists and turns in order to be a success.
How do you come up with twists and turns and new story ideas?
Use your own life!
Use problems you have overcome or some that you haven’t and use them in your book. The best part about using your own obstacles in your book is that you can have the outcome turn out however you would like.
If you are happy with the way you have overcome obstacles in your life, then use it exactly how it played out for you. If you are not happy with the outcome of certain events, change them and write them to end the way you would have liked them to. This can also be therapeutic for you, the writer.
You can also take a slight twist or turn in your life and enhance it to become something major! For example, you changed your major in college…something fairly minor, right? Now, enhance it. You started with a major in computers, your Grandmother came down with cancer and you love her so much you will do whatever you can to help her get and stay well. You change your major to chemistry so that you can work on strains of cancer treatments. Sounds more involved and interesting, right?
Basically, take lemons and make lemonade!
Another great way to find ideas for your novel would be to take a trip to Barnes and Noble. Go to the section of the store where they sell the same genre books that you are writing. Read the backs of the books in search of an idea that can spur a story idea or plot twist of your own.