Friday, January 31, 2014

How I Became a Plotter: Ideas

(art by me)
As a pantser I came across story ideas naturally: overhearing a conversation, through inspiring music lyrics, maybe from a vivid dream.

While these idea-harvesting methods can definitely produce, I am on a mission to become a full-fledged plotter. I intend to use as much strategy and planning and list-making as is humanly possible.*

I needed some way to come up with decent ideas quickly AND for when I am not feeling particularly creative. Enter Google. So I actually found several good idea generators but my favorite is one I had never heard of before. After trying it out, I couldn't stop playing around with it!

Here is a summary of the exercise:

1. Head on over to IMDB.
2. Try not to get distracted.
3. Click on their Top 250 list.
4. Pick a movie and view the Synopsis (It's easier if it's a movie you are not familiar with)
5. Use your imagination and think up alternate settings, types of characters, and situations for that synopsis. Tip: Don't think to hard, just have fun.
6. Open up a blank document, or pull out a sheet of paper, and plug your new setting, characters, situations into the corresponding areas of the IMDB synopsis.
7. BOOM! Instant (detailed) story idea!

For the full details on the IMDB exercise and to see more idea-getting goodies ("Enlist your Passion" is another favorite) Check out How to Write a Book Now's idea page!

Next Time: Characters (and how they relate to plot)
Previous Post: How I Became a Plotter - The Intro

*Consider yourself warned.

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