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 […]

Greeting Cards Tell Micro-Stories

I recently discovered a line of greeting cards by Curly Girl Designs. Go ahead, click. Aren’t they darling? What captivated me, though, were the sentiments. Each one suggests a score of stories! See what you can do with these (and PLEASE share in the comments!): “One of the hardest things to realize,” she said, “is […]

Is There a Story in Your Fortune Cookie?

This summer we’ve been looking at where story ideas come from. A recent dinner out illustrates that ideas are everywhere! Think about the essence of a Fortune Cookie. The very word “fortune” evokes the concept of a happy adventure waiting to happen, a happy ending just beyond view. Isn’t that what readers look for in […]

Interesting Humans

Many writers get their story ideas by watching people. How they look. What they do. How they interact with others. Without judging, can you guess the motivations that might lie behind their actions? Start with the most obvious, but don’t stop there. Make a list of all the possible reasons for what you see. I’ll […]