Finding Story Ideas, Getting Out and About, and Myths and Legends

Another nice mixed bag!

Facebook – and Chandler’s Ford Today

It is nice with my CFT posts to take a little time out now and again to write a more reflective article. I do so this week with my Out and About – Summer 2018 article. And getting out and about with the dog gives me not only the fresh air and exercise but a chat to talk with other dog owners.

From a writing viewpoint, the break is good for the little grey cells and that, I think, is the main benefit. The nice thing is the break you take doesn’t have to be expensive and can be right on your doorstep. But refreshing yourself in this kind of way is of value to your physical and mental health and that has to feed into your writing in a positive way.

You can also think about things like: how would your characters take a much needed break? Where would they go? What would they do? How does it help them face up to their “quest”? All good details, which even if you don’t put them directly in your story, will help you know more about your people and, as a result, write about them much more effectively.

Facebook – From Light to Dark and Back Again

Flash fiction stories can be great for those moments in a character’s life which are defining but which in themselves are not enough to make a full length 2000-word story.

You can also use punchlines for an effective ending. My The Mint with a Hole and Little Packages are examples of this (and the first one uses a well known advertising slogan from many moons ago as its title as well).

But as with any kind of story, you have to hook your readers and reel them in! Happy writing!

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Fairytales with Bite – Finding Story Ideas

I know I’ve talked about this topic before but it is one of those timeless ones and always useful.  I was looking through my From Light to Dark and Back Again and I would list the inspiration/themes for the stories in here as coming from:-

1. Fantasia by Walt Disney
2. My loathing of hunting increasingly rare animals for “sport”.  There’s a strong poetic justice theme here!
3. The Tooth Fairy not being as nice as perhaps traditionally thought.  (An idea to take and run with, possibly run away from if you are likely to require her services!).
4. Revenge.
5. The Sword in the Stone/King Arthur
6. Transformation/the idea someone could be a magical being and we’d never know.
7. Santa Claus and the idea that government inspectorates get everywhere!

And that’s just the first few stories in the book!

So you can use your favourite films/music etc as ideas to get you started.  With regard to bringing in your personal dislikes, don’t rant!  My story here, A Kind of Hell, shows my not so nice character getting their comeuppance but there’s no anti-hunting rare animals rant here.  It is all implied.  Less is definitely more.

As for my fairytale inspirations, it has long been established that fairy folk are not always that nice, a theme so many writers have used, but it is a rich seam for stories and highly unlikely to run dry any time soon!  Happy writing!

This World and Others – Myths and Legends

One aspect of world building to consider is to work out what your world would have for its cherished myths and legends. Who are its heroes/heroines? How did they earn this honour? Does everyone respect them or is their reputation controversial? Are the stories written down or is your world based on an oral tradition of story telling (and how accurate is that)?

Are the heroes/heroines from centuries before your story starts or are they in your current tale and you hint at their back story? How are myths and legends reported by your world’s media/historical societies/officialdom (which can also include religious officialdom)?

How does your hero/heroine cope with being a living legend? (Would make it awkward to go to the shops at times I would have thought! Now I’m being a little flippant here but you get the point. Your characters would have difficulties most would never face to enjoy any semblance of a normal life at all so how do they overcome all that or come to terms with it?).

Hope you find some wonderful story ideas here.

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