After responding to a general question on another site concerning a writing issue, today I've decided to start a series where I will present some of my own tips that have helped me in my writing career. Today's first item concerns how to start a book, or more precisely, how to get an idea or theme for a book.
I usually start with a single word (or phrase) and go from there. For example, when writing my most recent e-book (The Wounded Falcon) I started by picking up a book that had the word 'hawk' as part of the title. I made a decision to write a story about a hawk. From there I thought about different stories that would be feasible with the hawk as the focus. I came up with the idea that people can train hawks for their own use. I then researched this on the internet and discovered that a falcon is a popular bird to use for hunting. In the end, this is what the story is about.
So in summary, start with a word, and then try to break it down to something more specific.
E.g. Hawk ---> It hunts ---> People can train it to hunt for their own use ---> Falcons are popular for this purpose.
Feel free to add your own opinions on this topic in the comments area if you wish to contribute.
Thanks to Bandido at Shoutlife for his original question that gave me the idea to start this series up.