Friday, July 27, 2012

Story Outlines and Ideas


Coming up with an idea for a story has never been a big problem for me. In fact, I’ve been working on three different story outlines. Yelp. That’s right—three.

One outline is for a story about a boy and a not so nice zombie incident. This outline is finished and waiting for me to start writing. I’ve got an idea for a second book about the same boy—another story about his zombie filled world, but it’s just that, a spark of an idea. I’ve jotted it down in my ideas book so I won’t forget it while I work on other ideas.  What’s an ideas book, you ask? Hang on. I’ll talk about that more in a minute.

The next outline is for the first book of a trilogy that is about girl, the Fae (or fairies), and the fate of both worlds. When I started working with this idea, it was just one book, one story. But I quickly realized there was no way I could tell it in just one book. So it has grown into at least three. I’ve still got some work to do on the outline for the first story, but the bone structure is there.

The third outline I’ve been working on is for the second book in The Children of Atlantis series. As guardian of Atlantis, Raven is definitely not getting any breaks. She’s got a very angry uncle (and that’s putting it mildly) who wants something back. I can’t say much more, but if you’ve read the first book, you’ll know exactly who and what I’m talking about. Okay, so you’ve got a little incentive to read the first book. Oh, and another hint, the second book picks up not long after the first story.  The idea for the third book is rolling around in my head, and it will pick up where the second book ends. Yeah, Raven is definitely not getting any breaks.

Ideas for stories have never been a problem for me. They’re everywhere. The spark may be in a strange story I read or hear. It may be a combination of two or more stories that come together. It may just simply be my asking, What if? I never know what’s going to spark an idea. The news stories on the Internet are a great source. I’ve got a collection of strange stories that I’ve printed out over the years. Other ideas come from the shows I watch or rather listen to, which includes the local and world news. When I hear something interesting, I write it down in an ideas book. I may not use it immediately, but it’s there, in my notes waiting for me.

My ideas book, and I’ve got several, are just spiral notebooks or composition books that I jot down things I see or hear that spark my imagination, or that I think are cool, unique, or odd. It’s kind of like my strange story collection, except no printouts. Sometimes I’ll jot something down and then go look up more information about it and add that to the idea. I may or may not use it, but it’s there. And just having it to read later, can spark a whole new story idea. It also doesn’t hurt that I’ve got an over active imagination.

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