Writing a book is a huge and exhausting challenge and not for the faint of heart. There is no guarantee for success. None. So if you’re really going to embark on this journey, it better be worthwhile.

One way to ensure that you enjoy the actual process is to write a book that you would love to read yourself. Kind of obvious, isn’t it? Yet it’s not that easy if you don’t know what that actually is. Let’s find out.

The first step to finding out what you’d enjoy to write is to take a look at the books you love to read. What novels have you read that left a lasting impression on you? What books have you read more than once, because they were just so captivating and entertaining? Take inventory of all the books that you can think of. This is your starting point.

Once you have a list of books, sort them into categories. Are you loyal to one genre? Then you should probably stick to writing for this genre as well. If you have more than one type of book that you love to read… you’re in good company.

Try to figure out which one you like the most. There should be something you’d reach for first if you have a choice. I’m someone who devours fantasy novels, especially if they include adventure and mystery. I also read a little romance or some thrillers. I do enjoy them once in a while, but my true passion lies in fantasy.

If you have two genres that you can’t seem to decide on, you may want to think about combining the two. You like romance and sci-fi? Write about love in space. Maybe even between human and alien? Your own imagination is the limit.

Next we’re going to take a look at some books we like. Our favorite ones if possible. Try to figure out what it is that you love so much about the book. Is it the complex characters? The multitude of plot twists? Maybe some specifics like travel or friendship?

Make a list of all the things you can think of that you like. These things will be your inspiration when crafting your own story.

I for example love books with strong and authentic friendships like in The Famous Five or Harry Potter. The Famous Five contains adventure and Harry Potter lots of mysteries. Eragon involves a multilayered view on good and evil and The Secret Garden enchanted me with the emotional development of the protagonist.

Take your list and search for patterns now. Are there some recurring themes? If something appears on your list more than once, write it on a separate piece of paper or highlight it. If you realize that you’re totally into characters with a complex backstory, write it down. If you like mysteries that could actually be happening in the real world, note it down. When you’ve analyzed everything you have a list of things you obviously love. You can pay some special attention to these things when outlining your novel.

Looking at my own list I can see that friendship is a major interest of mine as well as adventures and mysteries. Taking a closer look I also realize that books like The Famous Five, Harry Potter and The Secret Garden give me a feeling of home.

A possible novel idea for me could be a fantasy book for young adults that revolves about friendship and adventure all while giving off a feeling of home.

What did you come up with? Do you like the genre you’re writing for?

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