13th May '15 - Developing Story Ideas.

Where do you get your ideas from? Is pretty much the most common question writers are asked. I don't think anyone has ever sat in front of a sheet of blank paper and tried to think of an idea for a story, the initial idea has to come a long time before attempting to put pen to paper. Developing and formulating the idea is the difficult part.

Here's an example. I have an idea for a story where a princess is kidnapped and locked inside a dungeon awaiting execution. She discovers a way to escape but then overhears someone crying so decides to help them. It turns out the person crying is her executioner so rather than escaping to freedom her own kindness makes things worse for her.

First I have to decide whether it's to be a full novel or short story. Then decide whether to publish it as a printed book, Kindle ebook or simply post it on a website. The advantage of posting online is that it's very easy to update so mistakes are easily corrected. Printed books and Kindle ebooks require a cover and it has to match events within the story, so selecting a cover is often done before the act of writing.

Then I have to think of a genre. If it's a horror maybe a sad ending would be best with the princess being injured or possibly dying. If it's a fantasy style story then a sword battle may be the best ending with the princess being victorious. If I can't decide right away I could turn the story into Steampunk, mixing different genres, and the princess could have a concealed ray-gun.

Then I have to decide on character details. Is a princess too cliche? Would the story be better if I made her a male warrior such as a palace guard or swordsman? Maybe it would be better if she was a child so there could be a subplot of her overcoming her fears and ending with her becoming brave. The executioner could be changed into a witch or demon of some sort. I could even have a twist at the end where the executioner turns out to be her younger sister who wants her out of the say so she can be heir to the throne.

I simple premise can lead to so many different story ideas, it's just a matter of thinking which will be the best before the act of actually writing it.


<<< Main Page