Story Ideas

Stories are all about conflict and risk. And the best conflict and risk happens with the unexpected. This is the best way to generate an endless stream of story ideas: just take any everyday situation, think about what you would normally expect to happen (boring), and then think about something dramatically different and unexpected (exciting). Stories are born in that magical gap between the expected and the unexpected.

For example, a woman walks her dog every day in the same park. She enters the park at around 7:0pm at night, and leaves at 7:30pm to go back to dinner. This happens every day, until ONE DAY she can’t get out of the park…..

Another example: you brush your teeth every night before you go to sleep. You look in the mirror to make sure you’re brushing all the right parts. Then ONE DAY you look in the mirror and you see someone else’s face…..

One more (yes, I’m enjoying this): a man takes the train to work each day and always gets there on time. Then ONE DAY, the train just stops mid-way….

Get the hang of it? It doesn’t even have to be dramatic as such, as long as it’s UNEXPECTED. If it’s what you’d expect to happen, it isn’t interesting, even if its dramatic. If someone falls off a cliff, you’d expect them to die: that’s dramatic, but boring and predictable. BUT, let’s say someone falls off a cliff and their body is never discovered…well, hmm, now that’s more like it…