The Journal: Story Ideas

In today’s Journal * Topic: Story Ideas * Of Interest Topic: Story Ideas As I was telling a friend recently, story ideas can come from anywhere. Most often they come to me as a character or two popping into my head, usually with a line of dialogue that frames the genre and the story voice. Less often, something I see physically or overhear or read will spark a story idea. Regardless of the mode of their arrival, my stories are seldom born of whole cloth. A story idea is only a lever to get you to the keyboard. While I … Read more

The Journal: More on Ideas, and Introducing Tidbits

In today’s Journal * More on Ideas * Topic: Introducing Tidbits * Of Interest * The Numbers ​​​More on Ideas Excerpted from an email to a potential new mentoring student. In his email he told me he was deluged with story ideas: I’m glad you’re deluged with ideas. I get so tired of would-be writers asking “Where do you get ideas?” My typical response is “Where do you NOT get ideas?” Just this morning during my walk, I passed through several swarms of flying ants. My imagination immediately went to an alien invasion. A little later, as I was eating … Read more

The Journal: Another Brief Note on Focusing Down

In today’s Journal * Another Brief Note on Focusing Down * The Novel * Of Interest * The Numbers Topic: Another Brief Note on Focusing Down Okay, and some story ideas, and a bit on dialogue. Focusing down means making readers lean into the story, or lean into it more closely. It means focusing their attention “down” or more tightly on a detail. You can’t do that with a chase scene. But you can do that with the tires squealing and a wheel cover spinning off and clanging down the side of the road. If it sends people scattering when … Read more