Monday, August 19, 2013

20 Ways to Plot Ideas - Part One of Two

Happy Monday, good people of the blogosphere! I hope you all had a wonderful weekend and are sitting with your muses for the writing days ahead. Today, I'm gonna tell you ten ways you can get great plot ideas. I hit on this a bit before when I gave you a little bit on How to find an Idea.This will be a lot more in depth. Don't worry, ten more will come tomorrow! So grab those pens and notebooks and let's get going!

1. Fire in Your Belly
I've breached this first one in the past. It's all about what fires you up. What issues get you all riled up? Pick one and apply some pressure. If you care, your reader will care. But be sure and turn it into a story that people can identify with. No one likes a long lecture.

2. Listen to Music
Sometimes music is just the thing to get your creative juices flowing. Listen to the words and close your eyes. Picture scenes in your head and write a few down.

3. Visualize Scenes
Before you begin writing for the day, take a few moments and watch a little movie in your head. Think of an issue, character, or situation you'd like to hit upon. Free write for at least an hour. Don't think about plot, structure, or punctuation/grammar. Put it away and don't look at it again for a few days. After that, go back and give it a read through. See what makes you smile. Cut it out and use it.

4. Pick up a Newspaper
See what's going on in the world at large. Twist it around and use it as a plot. Those six people who got arrested for cooking meth in their house? They must have a background! Who better to write on a compelling story like that than you?

5. Fetishes/Obsessions
Think about what people are into. Is it a weird predisposition to wear other peoples' shoes? How about a desire to collect things (hoarding)? What could they collect? If you're a fantasy author, this could be pixies they keep in jars; and the MC could be willing to do anything to get that next, rare one.

6. Thought Web
Back when I was talking about Blog Topics and Where they Come From, I discussed thought webs. This technique works for novels, too! Choose a word and go nuts!

7. Jobs
Start with a job and work your way around what the person in that profession must be dealing with. Maybe the stress leads down a path of self-destruction, maybe it leads down the road of homicide. Perhaps that job has made everyone crazy because of a bug in the ventilation system. Your imagination is the only thing holding you back with this path to plot.

8. Change the Genre
Alice in Wonderland and Snow White have been redone so many times! Why? There's a great plot there that's begging for a makeover! Grab a book and think about how it can be changed to suit a new genre. Make The Princess and the Pea a Sci-Fi story, change the names, outcome, and situation. At the very least, it'll give you direction.

9. I really want to write...
Take twenty minutes out of your day and grab a sheet of loose-leaf. Start with "I really want to write about..." and fill in the rest with what your heart desires to put on paper. Let it take its own direction. Don't force it.

10. Borrow
Do you have a favorite novel? Borrow the plot line. Change everything but the plot. Give characters the personalities you always wanted them to have and write about it. Remember, there are few original plots. It's what happens from point A to point B that's different.

I hope this gets you writing if you were in a slump.

What do you do to get plot ideas?

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



  1. I like the Change the Genre idea, I've read some great books that have done this.

    1. I haven't read many books that do that. Though I'm interested in Pride & Prejudice (& Zombies). :)


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