A New Idea Emerges
New story ideas are one of the best moments in a writer’s life. It’s a new adventure to take, new lessons to learn, and new characters to meet. You feel alive, like you can’t wait to see how the story will unfold. Where do you start? Here are a few places that are fun to explore when starting any story.
Characters are an important part of any tale. Readers love relatable characters. Therefore, representation is important. Everyone should have a character that resonates with them. Protagonists need to be interesting if the audience has to follow them while reading a piece.
One way to make them interesting is to treat them like an actual person. There are a ton of online personality quizzes. Taking on characters is a fun way to know them. If you don’t know how they would answer start with the basics (Height, build, hobbies, family life, etc.) What questions do you ask someone when you meet them for the first time? See what answers you can discover. Well-rounded characters help someone stay engaged in the world you created.
A series with amazing characters is the Leaving Summerville Series by Cait Marie. They will make you want to jump into the novels to spend time with them. They’re like folks in a small town you could meet.
A good setting is like another character. It’s an interesting idea because where an event occurs can change the outcome of a situation.
An example: A character in Chicago has little disposable income, and what they have goes towards rent, food and utilities. Their apartment has poor maintenance and a cockroach infestation. They cut their foot on something in the street. They just put their socks and shoes on to keep it protected. The wound gets infected; they pour hydrogen peroxide on it. It’s leaking yellow pus, smells horrible, and the leg swells.
They go to the emergency room because the nearest clinic hasn’t had an appointment available for three months. The emergency room gives IV antibiotics and a prescription. The bill arrives a few weeks later. It’s the hospital bill or rent for the month.
Now, take the same scenario from a character who lives downtown with a job and full medical benefits. This character has the option go to one of the walk-in clinics located down the street from their condo. They have insurance, so the bill is at most thirty dollars. They have enough to cover the bill in their account. The location of the characters’ homes tells a lot about their lives and makes the circumstances completely different.
The House of Wind in A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas demonstrates the impact of setting on a story. This residence is on a mountain. The only three ways to get in are climbing over a thousand steps, flying, or teleporting inside. It is also sentient and gives items to its residents.
This is the most important part of any literary work. Plot is the arc of a story. The plot can be simple or complex. Divine Rivals by Rebecca Ross starts as a story about a girl writing letters to her brother during a war and the boy who reads them. It expands into a Duology complete with magical typewriters and a beautiful enemies-to-lovers romance.
Writing is a frustrating but rewarding journey. The secret to your word-filled adventure lies in a single idea’s spark.