Stephanie says: I need ideas and fast. What do you do when you can’t think of anything to write about?
There are two tricks I use to come up with new ideas. The first idea came from Stephen King’s book On Writing. Stephen says to come up with a strong story idea, one should combine two completely unrelated things.
Murder and mayhem & prom
Can you name the story? It’s an older one. Carrie. Stephen King’s first book, which was about a girl who goes crazy at prom and kills a lot of people. Eww.
Here are some more examples:
Boarding school & wizards (Harry Potter)
Love & vampires (Twilight)
A criminal mastermind & fairies (Artemis Fowl)
Outer space & hitchhiking (Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy)
Another good way of coming up with a story is asking the “What if?” question.
What if twelve teens had to fight to the death on national television?
What if a rich Manhattan teenage girl had to relocate to a
farm in Oklahoma?
(So Not Happening)
What if a teenage boy was recruited to become an MI6 agent?
What if a boy found out he was a demigod?
What if a ditsy blonde got into Harvard Law School?
What if a boy was raised by wild animals?
(The Jungle Book)
If you can come up with something using one or both of these techniques, you’ll be on your way to a strong idea. You’re far from done. You still need to spend time thinking about an overall plot and characters, but hopefully this will get your brain working.
So look around the room and come up with two completely unrelated things. Then brainstorm a bit more and tell me what you came up with. I’ll go first.
Hope this helps.