“ideas are a dozen. It’s the development that elevates one to the top. You do what you have to, to make it real and reach the market” -A Practice to Develop Any Great Idea—into a Breathtaking Story
Interpretation is just the beginning. Narrative writers have a lot in common with the creators.
Idea development is the number one talent a writer must-have.
In the beginning, it might seem daunting, but with practice and a few tricks to kickstart the creativity, you’ll soon be an idea-into-story wizard. Ready to improve your game?
How to Create Story Ideas
It is good to hear different ways authors create story ideas into full-length projects. It is one part of the writing process that remains cloaked in mystery.
Sometimes the writer is not sure how an idea develops and may say—”Oh I just like to write,” which makes the rest of us feel like failures when we sit down, and nothing comes.
Some may also say, “Oh, it’s the magic—you can’t teach that—It just happens.” This may be true, but the fiction writers just cannot be sitting around waiting for the magic to happen. I have to teach them how to make magic.
Authors take whatever basic ideas they have and make them unique. No matter what your starting point is —a mystery or quest—you can do as the experts do.
- Pick Something Specific—
When students are writers, they begin by trying to find story ideas and may end up picking something too big. They may say—
“We want to write a story about the way technology makes us less human!”
“Global warming!” and so on.
These are all themes that could produce excellent scripts, but they are too broad and general. We have to get much more specific to capture the humanity of the ideas.
As I search through notebooks, look for a vivid image, event, or conversation.
- Find the Hot Spots
Once you choose a specific idea, find or create a hot spot. A hot spot is a place where there is “a place of significant activity or danger.” It may be an inherent conflict in a conversation or the oddity in an image that could expose disaster.
Example–You hear a conversation: “help me if you leave with the hamster and espresso machine-or headlines from the news with a heartbreaking image: “Woman who cut out her eye, was found standing next to the Church.”
Both of these moments hold a lot of potential for stories. The sentiments behind these small hot areas can be great places to develop ideas. If you can apprehend the emotion behind a moment, you can build any world you like surrounding it.
- Your Character/Image as the Hot Spot
Maybe your idea is not an image, but it’s an actual person. If you begin with a character, you can follow the same process by asking a few specific questions, as—
What does this character want?
How far is he/she willing to go?
You can short cut this by creating from someone you know and then become specific. Also, remember you aren’t writing about a character’s life; you are writing about his or her problem. Specific details will make the character leap off the page is A Practice to Develop Any Great Idea—into a Breathtaking Story.
Just Begin Writing
When all fails, just put words on the page. Sometimes, all the thinking in the world cannot find the answers you are looking for. Whether it’s because you have made some missteps in your pre-writing or your brain is stuck in an idea, diving headfirst into the writing—maybe even before you feel ready—might be just what you need to shake things loose.
Some things you may want to pen down:
· Opening Scene– How does your story start?
· Unspecific Moment– Pick any scene that you think will occur in your story.
· Autobiography– Have your characters write something about themselves.
· Cover Copy– The story summary that would be printed on the back cover.
· Synopsis– A much more extended, scene-by-scene description of the script.
These may not necessarily end up in the final story, but they will get you into the pattern of writing about those characters. Do not be amazed if, once you start writing, you have difficulty stopping.
Just keep going until you feel like you are getting lost in the woods. Then it will be time to take a step back and look at what you have written and see what it tells you about your story.
Applying it to Your Story
You might find that some of the pre-writing techniques affect you more than others. When you are first learning about your writing process, you should try as many different methods and tactics as you can. You might be surprised by which one of them work best for you.
“Your story isn’t about your character’s life, but about your character’s issues.”
Drive it in
Many great stories spring from the same seeds as old folk tales. Meeting Cinderella in the scullery—a slave to the rude demands of her stepmother and older stepsisters is A Practice to Develop Any Great Idea—into a Breathtaking Story. When Cinderella tries to improve her situation, she is punished. The purpose here is to procreate a society that would be better off, gone.
You too can make gut-sizzling magic out of your fiction story by piloting your script to a conclusion beyond what you thought it would be able to go.
When it starts to look like, as if no number of words, can represent the reality of anything, inspect what might happen if you clean out your idea to allow the miniature to suggest the infinite:
—Fetch emotion through action, not description–Inexperience storytellers often try—alas, unsuccessfully—to not only show what happens but to tell in detail how everybody feels about it. You can present a life-and-death sensation without saying anything about it. Practising this approach from the outset of your idea development can save you a lot of rewriting later.
By now, you will be producing well-developed stories with a higher chance of success.