Sunday, September 29, 2013

Ideas Into Stories.

People ask me where I get ideas from.

Ideas are plentiful. Everyone has them. What they don't have are stories.

As an example, I usually tell my students a story. A true one. At this point I start to smirk and laugh as thought it's hilarious.

"My wife asked me to get some milk on the way home last night. So I stopped at the supermarket, and went in and bought some."  Now I laugh as though I can't help myself. "And so I paid for it, and then drove home. Cool story, huh?"

They tell me it's not a story, and so we then discuss the reasons why. And they are the ones who come up with conflict/problem/difficulty overcoming these/resolution, etc.

An idea. A man walks into a pet store and buys an alien life-form. Cool. I might even use that at some point. But there's no story there - yet. It needs more.  What's going to happen with this alien pet? Type of food it needs? Size it will grow to? Not a pet but sentient?

Where's the problem and how is it resolved.

Sometimes you have to laminate a couple of ideas, extend them, play with them, exaggerate them, try them in different settings, and so on.

I have pages and pages of ideas jotted in my notebook. From time to time I peruse those pages, something clicks and I start creating a story.

You might have ideas. Do you have stories?

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