With NaNoWriMo just over a month away, I have decided to put away the plot outline I have for the story I plan to write (don’t want to get bored with it before I start it) and look to short stories to quench my thirst to write until November 1st.
That decision has now led me to the eternal fear of all writers (please tell me I’m not alone in this), coming up with a story idea.
Now I stare at a blank piece of paper (as rendered on my computer screen) in hopes that some magical power makes words apear in an order that represents a plot that I can tell with 1,000 words or so. I want to be able to submit it to a couple of short/flash fiction web sites and need to keep the word count low. Unfortunately my creative brain thinks in epic scale. Most story Ideas I have require at least a trilogy just to tell the set up 🙂
So, I do what any good 21st century writer would do… I google story plot ideas. I came across a Plot Scenario Generator, not a bad start. It gives me the suggestion “The story starts when your protagonist tries to pay off debt.”… hm, I could work with that. Then it adds “Another character is an incredibly attractive person who is fluent in six languages.”… not sure what I can do with that one thought. But that pay off debt idea has potential, I will have to think on it.
I was hoping to write something science fiction, so I add “science fiction” to my google search and come across another Generator. This one seems to be geared toward sci-fi plots, let’s see what master piece story worthy of a Hugo it will magically give me… “The story is about a watchful gambler who is in debt to a philanthropist. It starts in a small nation on a war-torn planet. A major element of this story is technology being used by an elite few.”. Ok, again with the debt angle, I am starting to think someone is trying to tell me something… did Dave Ramsey write these generators?
But let me think about this, I could use the angle of tech being used by an elite few, not sure about owing a philanthropist, but there may be a story idea here after all. Who would have thought a google search and a plot generator could give inspiration.
Well, if this does not work I will need another plan. So let me know your favorite way to come up with a story plot. Do you use generators or google searches? Would you?
Once I write this short story I will share it with you all and ask for your opinion, let’s see if this experiment works.
Until next time…