Though I’m not an established author yet (I must continue to say yet because that confidence will hopefully pay off in the end), I still have some advice for anyone who has yet to break through on their own. The great thing about advice is that everyone can offer it, because it’s a suggestion, not a guarantee. That being said, I at least believe there’s an element of truth to this bit of advice.
When choosing a scenario to write about, much of your success will be dictated by your passion for it. A story that engages you, that keeps calling you back because you truly want to tell it, is more likely to find an audience than one that you had to drag your feet to get out. The audience can tell when you’re BS-ing them with something that you didn’t care about. Writing with no passion behind it is obvious and is a waste of everyone’s time.
However, passion also isn’t a guarantee of success. Truth be told, nothing is, but a story that ties into current events at least is more likely to draw attention. No matter the genre, this holds true. Readers often want an escape, but they also need the story to be recognizable to them in some way. They need to feel it somehow ties to the world they live in.
What would I recommend to anyone looking for inspiration? I’ve found that perusing news articles and watching news programs provides ample inspiration. Find some news story that gets your blood boiling, either with anger or excitement. Passion is passion, be it good or bad. Find a way to weave that event into a narrative. You can use the event in present time and develop characters that are thrown in the midst of it, or you can extrapolate it and place something similar to that event in the future. The sky’s the limit (darn it, another cliché, need to be careful with those).
Anyway, happy writing! Now to see how well I can follow my own advice.