When a kernel of a story idea strikes me I’m ready to “run,” but finding that spark can be tough. The recent survey indicates others share this frustration. What to do?
The most comprehensive, intriguing source I’ve found for brainstorming is the story-starter link created by PB author (over 70 books!) and writing professor, Rick Walton. We mentioned him on the “Story Starter” page of our website, so maybe many of you have already wandered through his labyrinth.
If not, let me tempt you with some choices along the route:
10 choices under "Start with a . . . Character, Problem, Phrase, etc."
Lists galore like:
470 Issues in kids’ lives, 431 Locations, 651 Things Kids Do, 122 Kids’ Songs/First Lines, 855 Things, Life-Story Triggers.
WARNING: Be sure to drop breadcrumbs along the route, so you can find your way back out. Enjoy your journey!
Here’re ways stories have popped into my brain:
A fully-formed rhyming couplet.
An engaging character. Or an insistent character.
A perfect title.
An intriguing setting.
A dedication. (“. . . to my pesky younger brother” or “to my oh-so-perfect older sister”)
A hilarious, appropriate, surprising ending.
An impossible situation or dilemma.
A childhood memory.
A story from the newspaper. (Today’s paper quoted a five-year old feeding bread to geese at the park. “Mom, all the birds love me!”)
What sparks your stories? What triggers an idea? What pops into your brain?