Tuesday, August 20, 2013

20 Ways to Plot Ideas - Part Two of Two

Happy Tuesday, everyone! I hope your Mondays weren't too bad. I know mine was super duper busy. Melody is in round three of edits and I'm into chapter four of Coralie. I hope you're all as excited as I am about that! Lots coming! But, today, we're continuing the discussion on how to come up with plot ideas. Here are the final ten! Grab your pens and notebooks and write these down!

If you missed day one, here's a link for you: 20 Ways to Plot Ideas - Part One of Two

11. Start With a Title
You can come up with so much from just a title! Think about it: Runner (what does that bring to mind?), The Fae of Ferion, Clockwork Cricket (maybe Cricket is a humanoid), A Piece of Peace. The possibilities are endless!

12. Create a Character
Develop a character using this outline: Character Bios. Then see where that character takes you. Don't forget that the Enneagram Personality Type List can help you decide how that character will act and react. Maybe the character you create will be a supporting cast member. That's okay, too! Change your bratty little brother into a bratty little sister and let them lead the protagonist. Run with it.

13. Make a List
Close your eyes and visualize something from your past. Use the memory to begin a list of things. Write down a couple of words for each scenario. Example: 1. Puppy (the one we found that was half starved) 2. Snow (the time we were homebound) 3. Accident (the time I drove my car into a tree) These all contain the thread of a story. Perhaps it can be woven into the blanket of a novel.

14. Trending
Read the paper or a magazine that deals with a specific subject. If you can read an issue of Popular Science and not get a billion ideas for a plot, you're not paying attention. See what's emerging in the world and write about it. Find something interesting and ask yourself these things: Who cares? What will the trend bring in the next ten years? How can it change the world if everyone takes to it? What if everyone fights it? Who will be impacted? And let your mind go nuts.

15. Prologue Writing
Lights, camera, action! Write a scene filled with action. Pretend it's a short story and use it to build a plot around. Make sure it causes your reader's heart to beat fast. Make them want to turn the page.

16. Write a Sentence
Come up with a fantastic first line for a story and go bananas. Write the entire prologue based on that sentence. Once you have that line, you can back up and flesh your character out or run forward and let him/her lead you where they may.

17. Playing the "What if?" Game
This is a fun game to get your brain working. I came up with an idea for a zombie novel by asking, "What if?" It's easy: Everything you see, question it. Say, "What if that squirrel could talk?" or, "What if people could turn invisible?" You'll find yourself with more plot ideas than you can shake a stick at (this is how The Bird came to be).

18. Do Research
Take a topic you love and plug it into the search engine of your choice. Read everything you come across and take notes or just hold it in your head. Once you've got a good grasp of your subject matter, start writing. All that research will give you a ton of reference to draw from (this is how Yassa came to be).

19. Just Write
Write about anything. It can be the chair you're sitting in, your dog, or the grass in your yard; but get something down on paper. You'll be surprised at how far it can take you. Your dog may be from a shelter, which is run by a corporation, which has a CEO that's a little kinky, and so on. See where I just took that one? It's all about letting your fingers fly.

20. A Dynamite Ending
Come up with the end first. Perhaps your character wins a race. What did he/she do to get there? What stood in the way? Maybe the character is disabled in some way but that didn't happen until he/she was in their thirties and the win is a miracle stemming from hard work and determination. If you have an ending with impact, you'll have little trouble backing up and creating the rest of the story.

I hope you all have wonderful plot ideas in your heads now; or, at the very least, intend to do a few of these exercises.

Thanks for joining me for these two days. Come on back tomorrow for more writing tips!

Which of these do you see working for you?

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!



  1. Amazing how many ideas you came up with! Awesome advice!

    1. I do what I can. Mostly, I draw from what I know and have learned. :)


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