Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Mix and Match

Get in the habit of finding, gathering and generating story ideas. Write them down in a notebook. (Or a couple of notebooks kept in places where you often get ideas. Or your smart phone.) Save them for when you need them.

Go to Mix-and-Match Game. Click on Generate Character. Make that character the best at this, the ultimate expression: the most charming, the most faithful, most mysterious, the most whatever. Set a timer for 5 minutes and crank out a story idea. (Dr. Wicked's Write or Die, in the blog's sidebar, can come in handy for this.)

Do this 2 more times.

This is one of the exercises from My Story Can Beat Up Your Story! by Jeffrey Alan Schechter. He walks you through ten steps to ramp up your ideas into compelling story telling.

Every story has a central question that, when answered definitively yes or no, signals the story is over. Each question has 3 parts, a physical part that many people care about (kill Dracula), an emotional part that characters closest to the hero care about (win the love of the most recently turned vampire wife) and a spiritual part that the hero cares about (regain his self-respect).

What three goals could your most confused wedding planner or most frantic princess want more than anything? Goals that, if not achieved, would doom him or the world to actual or virtual death?

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