Plot dilemma

Question: For a while now I have had an idea for a really brilliant character, but I simply can't think of a story to go with it. This is as far as I've gotten: a young girl who can feel the pain of all other human beings and who is destined to become a kind of God and bring peace to humanity together with another person who can only experience peoples positive emotions.

I'm working on other stories as well that seem to have more potential but I don't want to forget about this character. What can I do?

Answer: One approach is to make a list of questions about your story - all the unknowns, including the ones that are currently bothering you.

You can do this in a more formal way, using the 8 elements of plot ( For instance, you already have some idea what the Story Goal is - to bring peace to humanity (which implies humanity is at war or at risk of going to war). So then you might ask what the Consequence would be if the goal is not achieved. That might suggest the beginnings of a plot. You can do the same for the other six elements.

You also have a main character and a potential impact character, which sets you up for a thematic conflict between
two types of empathy.

You can also think about what type of story you want to write, what interests you in terms of genre, audience, and theme. Are you more interested in writing this story for adults, young adults, or children?

Do you see it as a happy ending or tragedy? Is this science fiction, paranormal, romance, historical, or some combination of genres? Each genre has certain conventions and can give you ideas about how you might use those conventions in your story.

Aside from these more formal issues, you can simply make a list of whatever questions pop into your head concerning your story. You can even get friends to suggest questions.

Once you've got a substantial list, take each question in turn and list possible answers.

As you do this, you will start to find answers that fit with each other and story ideas should start to emerge.

It may take time, and you may not want to take the first ideas that come along. In fact, you may find the best ideas come to you unexpectedly at odd times of day. The process of spending focused time on your story will get your subconscious mind working and it may present the answers when it's ready.

In the end, you want a story idea that really grabs you, feels exactly right, and gets you excited.

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