Archives for August 2012

A Fly on the Wall

You’ve heard that expression, haven’t you? “Oh, I wish I could have been a fly on the wall!” means “I wish I could have been there to see THAT!” Stories can give us an insider’s view, and that’s always interesting, especially if we see the scene from the vantage point of the casual observer. Perhaps […]

Odd Jobs

The seeds of a story can be found in anything that piques readers’ interest. What about a character who has an odd or unusual job? A flight attendant on Air Force One A maid or chef at the White House Tooth Fairy Buffy: Vampire Slayer Kindergarten Cop The Whipping Boy Perhaps your character has a […]

Mysteries & Secrets

Everybody loves a secret! If you’re looking for story ideas, you could look to National Treasures or any “whodunnit” for inspiration. How did the ancients build Stonehenge? How did Aztec messengers train themselves to run hundreds of miles? Who was Jack the Ripper? What happened to Atlantis? What inspired the Seven Wonders of the Ancient […]

Opposites Attract

We said it last week, but it bears repeating: Story = Conflict You’ll find a wealth of story ideas anywhere you find conflict, and conflict is inherent in situations where opposites meet…even if the “opposite” is the character himself. (This sort of transformation is called a character arc, and it’s another ingredient of a great […]

Mission: Impossible

Story = Conflict One form of conflict occurs when you pit your character against impossible odds–a strong motivation towards a goal that will be nearly impossible to accomplish. So when you’re generating story ideas, think of nearly impossible missions, and then brainstorm ways your character could beat the odds. Examples: At the island prison of […]