Every couple of months, the Donald Maass Literary Agency, which represents a roster of genre writers in science fiction, romance, mystery, and horror, posts to its website “what we’re looking for”—a handful of book ideas within a central theme. The agency hasn’t updated its suggestions since late last year, but they’re good ones: literary and science-fiction novels. The story starters aren’t meant to be prescriptive but to promote a creative spark:
In a cursed land where there are nothing but children (who do not age), an adult arrives, bringing with him a powerful magic that will change everyone’s luck but at a price: the children begin to grow up.
A hidden alien among us (he’s highly humanoid) has one chance to go home to repair the damage he caused there. The problem is, he’s in love.
One true wizard lives in our world. Her magic holds together a community of two opposite faiths. One day her magic stops working.
A martyr gives his life to save his country. Ten years later he comes back to life to find that the land he saved has lost the one thing about it that he held most dear.
A historical fantasy in which a young child with a miraculous talent has an effect on her family, and then her village, and then her entire country.
See where these prompts take you, and check back in to Donald Maass’s site next month for more ideas.