Story Starters

Literature Blogs

One of the questions I hear most often from kids to authors is “Where did you get your inspiration for___ (name of book)?”

For me, finding story ideas has never been a problem. Ever. It’s thinking through the plots, rounding out characters, tossing in conflict, and simply taking the time to sit and write, which takes up my time. That being said, I just found two excellent story starters to add to my ever-growing pile.

I checked my email early this morning to discover two people in my critique group were having a midnight chat… well, 1:00 a.m. for one, and 10 p.m. for the other, while we who were sleeping were included in on their back-and-forth e-conversation till morning. Samantha wrote about her eleven year old going off to build a bathhouse with his father, and that the reason why was a long story. Rose wrote about how difficult it was to hear The Merchant of Venice this weekend while sitting next to a raging river. I’m thinking, I don’t get out enough. (Of course, the reason why is because I’m sitting and writing… um… Right. Anyway…)

Today’s challenge: choose one of these story starters and write something creative today, unrelated to your WIP.

1) Under what circumstances did an 11-year-old kid have to go build a bathhouse? Mission trip? Punishment? Father-son time? Favor for friend? Other reason? What happened between the father and son during the building project?

2) Listening to Shakespeare next to a mountain river, causes the words to rush downstream, and maybe a lawn chair as well; maybe the river god was like the Pied Piper and took all the children out to play, or maybe just swept away the writers in the audience. Describe the  fantastical land where they ended up. What were the conflicts with each other, with the one who distanced them from their families, with the secluded valley where they ended up? How did it end?

Ready. Get set. Write!

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