Ideas for Plot

by Tom

Question: John Green style book about a terminally ill boy who loves words and soon finds the perfect girl. IDEAS PLEASE! I have the perfect name and titles but I do not know how to intertwine smaller sub-plots and do not have many good ideas for them!

Answer: Now, Tom, I'm sure you can appreciate that I cannot write your story for you. All I can give you is techniques you can apply.

That said, you already have an unlimited supply of ideas, if you are willing to tap into it.

Here's how...

Take the idea above as your starting point.

Now make a list of questions you or anyone else could ask about that idea. They can be simple questions such as, "What colour are the boy's eyes?" or complex questions such as "What makes the girl perfect?" Any questions will do.

Once you have made a list of at least 10 questions (and perhaps many more), set them aside for a day.

Now go back and write a list of possible answers for each question. Don't reject any ideas. Write them all down, even the ridiculous ones. Try to get more than 10 potential answers for each question.

By the time you've finished, you should have well over 100 ideas.

Next day, go over all your lists and choose the ideas you like the best and that work well together.

Rewrite your story idea, incorporating all the ideas you've chosen.

Feel free to repeat this process several times over a period of weeks.

I guarantee by the time you're done, you will have a very well developed story outline.

The next step will be to shape your story using story theory. Check out the articles on this site for help with this, perhaps starting here...

Best of luck.

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