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Sunday, December 31, 2017

How to Find an Idea. Part 2

       The time of NaNoWriMo is fast approaching.  Do you have your idea?  Do you have any ideas?  Maybe you are going to finish off another project, edit one?  I've done both within the month.  I don't really recommend doing that; because my brain does not like it.  Not one.little.bit.   But I also have done short stories, and also blogs to fill out the 50k.   I'm what is called a "rebel."  But I also am a "Plantser."  I am a hybrid between planning and pantsing.   Planning being the outlining of your idea so that you know what will happen during the novel.  Pantsing is just taking a vague idea and rough outline (that you won't stick to), before writing.
          There are people that are good at preplanning everything.  I am not one of them.  The only time I tried (NaNoWriMo 2012), it failed miserably.  My story did not want to follow the beautiful outline I had written painstakingly out.  And not only that, the structure is totally different than what I had imagined.  The problem I don't have is finding Ideas, it's going through the rest of it that has me going crazy.
          Basically, to flesh out an idea, I do what is called the "What if?"  I'll illustrate below using a familiar story.

What if there is a boy left on his relatives steps and finds out later that he is not ordinary?

There is my basic idea.    And yes, it should be obvious what story I'm using to illustrate this.

So then I go into the flesh out phase.

Q. What is not ordinary about this boy?

A.  He's got magic powers.

Q.  Why was he left with his relatives?

A.  Because he can't be where he was before.

Q.  Why can't he be where he was before?

A.  Because an evil wizard tried to kill him and failed.

So then you could go on from there to flesh it out even more, (now it is time for him to go back and learn magic so he can fight the evil Wizard).

I am not sure this is what JK Rowling did, but that is probably how I would have done it (though not the same probably).

Ideas are everywhere, as I've said before.  You may be even able to combine multiple ideas to make one story.   Finding ideas can bring more ideas to mind, it's easy once you get into the practice of doing it.  Prompts are great for generating ideas.  I had a new SNI  (Shiny New Idea), just today from a prompt.  It's going to be one of the stories that go into my Nano project. 

Note:  This blog was completed after Nano was over.  But you can use the info contained here at any time. 

L. Anne Wooley is a writer located in Columbus Ohio.  She has been published in numerous places, and can be seen in the upcoming anthologies "The Longest NightWatch Vol. 3"  and "Drowning by Moonlight."  Both are for charity.  She lives with two roommates, two dogs, a very noisy obnoxious and evil Bird named Bryn Terfel, and a cat which is her constant writing companion.   She can be found on FB and Youtube. 

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