Tag Archives: story ideas

Turn a Childhood Memory into Fiction

Many of us started out writing stories based on childhood happenings:  being picked on by a bully, feeling left out, falling off a rope swing, getting a pony, getting bucked off a pony.  (Hey, there’s got to be someone else out there that got bucked off a bazillion times, too.) The problem comes when the story gets stuck in our past and doesn’t gain a life of its own. The process tends to work something like this: Think of a fun or traumatic incident. Write it in story form. Fictionalize it by changing names, places, how many siblings, etc. Try to make the opening more exciting. Realize it’s lacking something. Try to add conflict.  Maybe even add a friend or sibling who wasn’t actually there. Take a bigger chance and change the dialogue or action to what you wish you said or did, instead of what actually happened. Give it … Continue reading

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Weekend Writing Prompts – 6 Spooky Story Starters

In honor of Halloween, we’re doing spooky story starters this weekend.  Dust off your ghost-story-telling abilities and see where these ideas take you. Daylight, dense fog, muffled sound. You go for noon walk anyway. Describe your walk, and what happens when a dark shape suddenly looms before you. Late at night, flat tire, country road. What do you hear? How do you feel? Do you trust the man who pulls up in a pickup truck? Children are in bed, you’re reading a book in the living room.  You suddenly feel a prickle of skin – someone is watching you. What happens next? Turn several lights on in hotel room, put wallet on dresser and use bathroom.  When you come out, wallet is on the bed and two lights are turned off. What do you do? How do you feel? Dusk, walk through autumn woods with dog, listen to birds. Dog … Continue reading

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Weekend Writing Prompts– Story Starters About Revenge

Do you ever dream of what you would do to get back at someone?  Or are you too nice?  Even if you’re an understanding person, your character doesn’t have to be.  What kind of revenge would he or she take to make someone pay for what they did? Wait!  Make it more interesting – choose a situation below, and then spend five minutes brainstorming possible scenarios.  Do NOT write about the first one or two you list – those are the easy ones.  For a more interesting story, go with a scene you had to stretch for, one toward the end of your list. What kind of revenge might your character take if:  A party guest stole money from them? Their best friend added to an untrue rumor about them? Their partner/lover cheated on them? Their co-worker stole their great idea? A friend “borrowed” something and then damaged it? After … Continue reading

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Weekend Writing – Story Starters that Ask What If

Here are five writing prompts that ask the classic writer’s question, “What if?”  Each of these could create hundreds of story lines depending on the writer’s choices.  Where would you take it? What if . . . your brother and his wife are killed in a car accident and you become guardian of the children from hell? What if . . . a couple of teens steal a car to go joyriding, and it breaks down in the middle of nowhere? What if . . . the mild-mannered guy three doors down begins stalking you? What if . . . the sun’s glare through the windshield is blinding you and you hit an elderly man because you can’t see him? What if . . . a guy is rough-housing at the pool, shoves his friend in unexpectedly, and the friend hits his head and is paralyzed? Choose one and see … Continue reading

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Saturday Story Prompts

Need an idea for a story?  An injection of energy in your novel?  Something to get you started in your free-writing time?  Saturday Story Prompts are here to help. Every Saturday I’ll post some story prompts: one-line story starters,  phrases to play with free-writing, questions that recall a feeling or situation you can use in your novel.  Use them as-is, adapt them if you want, let them jump-start a series of ideas and see where it takes you. We’ll start with some one-liners today: I knew I should have left Mother at home.  Every time I took her out . . . What could I say? It was rough and hairy and smelly, but it followed me home. She inhaled the scent of roses and closed her eyes, remembering. Three on one wasn’t fair, but I had no choice. She regaled us with sales figures and marketing plans, but all … Continue reading

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