The Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre

See Roald Dahl's Story Ideas Books

Roald Dahl wrote down his ideas in a series of notebooks. These became known as his Story Ideas Books.

Roald Dahl's Story Ideas Book

We have two of these books in the archive at the Museum, and we always have one out on display for visitors to see. As we're closed, we thought we'd put it on digital display instead.

In these books we can see the beginnings of some of Roald Dahl's most famous stories. Roald often went back through his notes and ticked ideas when he had used them. 

Quick quiz

Can you guess which Roald Dahl stories these ideas became? Answers at the bottom of the page.

  1. "A man who captured and kept in bottles ideas from the brain. Thoughts, pieces of knowledge and jokes."
  2. "Beer stealing. The old boy dropped his glass eye into the tankard. The thief saw it looking up at him."
Clippings from a notebook with pen scribbles on

Above: sections of one of Roald's Story Ideas Books

Collector of ideas

Roald Dahl loved collecting ideas, facts and snippets of information. His Story Ideas Books contained notes, scribbles and cuttings. He knew that inspiration could come from anywhere, and it might be years before an initial idea was developed into a book.

Sometimes, when I am trying to think of new twists and turns to a story, it actually feels as though long tentacles are reaching out from my head and groping around in the air, trying to pluck ideas of our nowhere, and these tentacles pop in and out, grasping their little bits of rubbish or jewellery and it is very exciting.

Roald Dahl

Stop scrolling! You can find out more about how much Roald Dahl liked collecting facts here.

See it for yourself

When we re-open you can come and see a Story Ideas Book for yourself! Come and visit us at the Museum in Roald Dahl's home-village of Great Missenden.

Quiz answers!

1 = The BFG
2 = The Twits

How did you get on?