I want to share with you a ridiculously simple exercise for coming up with story ideas. This one was taught to me by my scriptwriting tutor. I was actually surprised by how well it worked, even though it's so easy to do!
The DIY Story Idea Generator
- Fold a blank piece of paper into 3 columns
- In the 1st column, write a list of at least 5 PLACES that you are familiar with.
- For example: a library, an aquarium, Starbucks, New York, Paris etc.
- In the 2nd column, write a list of at least 5 CHARACTERS that you like to read about.
- For example: a wizard, a bank-robber, a young mother, a film director, a postman etc.
- In the 3rd column, write a list of at least 5 SCENARIOS that you find interesting.
- For example: unrequited love, a helicopter chase, moving house, a crime-scene investigation, finding a lost puppy etc.
- Now all that is left to do is pick 1 thing from each column, and combine them to create a one-sentence story idea.
Here are some examples:
- A wizard gets involved with a helicopter chase in New York.
- A film director finds a lost puppy in Starbucks.
- A postman conducts a crime-scene investigation in a library.
Obviously, your lists can be wilder and whackier than mine. Your only limit is your imagination. So I encourage you to go nuts with these, and your DIY Story Idea Generator will be a constant source of fun and inspiration.