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More Short Story Ideas

(Continued from the page Short Story Ideas)

If you feel strongly about some things, that's a great place to look for ideas. For example, suppose you believe that courage is not one moment of "brave" behavior as it is so often portrayed as in movies and other stories. You think that there is more courage shown in the unrecognized daily efforts that many people make despite their fears.

The question to ask yourself then is, "How do I demonstrate this in a story?" You might imagine a man who has been lazy and cowardly as a way of life who tries to be the hero for the day by jumping into a river to save a child. In the end he must be saved as well by a policeman who has quietly trained and prepared for situations like this, doing what is necessary to not only be able, but to make it look so easy that it doesn't even seem heroic or courageous.

If you want to be more systematic about this process, start a list of important points you would like to make. You can write a few down right now perhaps. Then as you watch the television news and something makes you feel strongly one way or another, express the belief behind that feeling and write it down. Every time you disagree with a belief held by another you also have something to write down.

At some point sit down with your list and think about how to make a point or lesson of each item. Don't use the story as an excuse for a speech by one of the characters though. Make your point through the actions of the characters as much as possible. That makes for a much more powerful story.

Ideas From Old Stories

This is a fun technique. It is hopefully useful, but is at least worth a few laughs. The idea is to combine old stories into new ones. The less similar the stories you start with, the better. For example, the story of Adam and Eve combined with "I Robot," could lead to an interesting new story. Perhaps a pair of robots start a new world. Their "original sin" might be the arising of their own consciousness, or the rejection of man as their master.

How about "The Miracle Worker" and "Gorillas in the Mist?" The struggles of an ape that learns at last to speak and be independent? "Cool Hand Luke" and "Star Wars?" The story of a man who brings life to the deathly atmosphere of a penal colony in space? "Gone With The Wind" and "Frankenstein?" The possibilities for ideas are endless.

Children's Books

Playing around with the ideas presented in children's books can result in good stories for adults. The basic plot in a book meant for kids is usually very easy to understand. The challenge, then is to take this and put it into a more adult context.

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Short Story Ideas