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A Collection of Story Ideas

All of the ideas on this website are for anyone who wants to take them and use them as their own. Feel free to use them in any way you wish. In addition to ideas for strories you'll find some poetry outlines too.

Here's an interesting true story that answers a question some readers might have. A young man took one of the ideas here and created a short story for a creative writing class. I was happy for him, but then he insisted that I take the idea off the page because he had written the story and didn't want a similar one out there. I told him that nobody would write the same story as his own just because he or she started with the same one-paragraph description. He was really upset. So, official notice: Change the suggested title if there is one, but don't ask me to remove ideas that have been "used" by yourself. But rest assured that the same idea will produce a dozen different stories when used buy a dozen different writers.

Monkey Boy

A religious and serious young man discovers that he is the result of artificial insemination. The sperm donor was an ape. He has to reconcile this with what he thinks of himself, and with his religion. Is he a man? Can he go to heaven? He soon fears for his life, as religious leaders seek to hide the truth that might challenge the faith of their followers.

Blind Man Talking

The story of a man that goes blind. It should start at a point where he has been blind for a while, and retrace his life. There is no physical reason for his blindness, no diagnosis or theory that doctors can give him. In the end we discover,as he does, that it is psychosomatic, and due to the fact that he saw only through his words. Only by losing his sight could he learn to truly see, and somewhere inside he knew this, and made the sacrifice. It might end with his sight returning.

The Tree

There is a hot spring in the desert where people have come for ages. In this story we follow the conversations on life and the meaning of life that take place here. We are introduced to all sorts of interesting theories and ideas, many of them conflicting with each other. There is a large cottonwood tree that overhangs the hot spring, which is described at various points during the story. In the end we see that the story is really about the tree, as it demonstrates life in it's essence, rather than in theory.

The True Desires of a Fish

A fish believes he is a bird, and jumps from the water repeatedly. He thinks he is a snake and crawls onto the shore. Dying there, he remembers that he is a fish. With some effort, he flops his way back to the water, and is at peace. A man thinks he is his status, and thinks he is his possessions. He is laying there gasping for air one day, and he remembers what he truly is, and is at peace.

The Morality of Monkeys

A race of monkeys learns to speak, but in a language that has only thirty words at first. A moral code is created and it leads to horrible results because of the limited ability of those thirty words to define what is right and wrong in every circumstance. The language expands and a new morality is developed, with the same results, and for the same reasons. The obvious implication is that perhaps no amount of words will ever be sufficient to "capture" the truth of reality or right and wrong infallibly.

Other Pages With Ideas for Stories

More Ideas for Stories - The Jesus Incident and ten other short outlines.

Short Story Ideas - How to come up with dozens of plots, gimmicks and more, using some simple methods.

How to Create New Stories - Is anything really new? Yes and no. There are universal ideas that remain the same throughout the ages, but there are infinite new ways to express them in fiction. And yes, there are even new ideas once in a while.

Short Story Questions - One line questions to stimulate new short story ideas. Answer the question, and you have the start of a story.

Poem Ideas - A collection of poem ideas, some just an interesting title that you can develop into a poem, and others that are just ideas waiting for the words and the title.

Poetry: For Writers More Than Readers? - What makes a good poem?

A Couple More Ideas

Here are some additional ideas. Take them, use them, change them and call them your own stories. They will be your own in any case, once you make the effort to develop them and write them. And they are just ideas - they are very undeveloped.

The Rational Hero

I get a bit tired of the Hollywood version of heroes in which the protagonist always feels the need to put down his weapon and fight the bad guy hand-to-hand. There can be a million lives at stake yet he must "prove" his manliness at the risk of all those lives. I would love to see story in which the good guy simply does what needs to be done, even to the point of doing unglamorous and seemingly unethical things in order to make things right. The obvious challenge is to create a story that is exciting despite the lack of irrational action.

The People's Court

Crime is a concept that precedes specific laws and crimes do not become something good just because they are legislated. In the story that makes this clear there would be a secret court set up to prosecute officials, including judges, who commit crimes against individuals, even though they are simply following the law. For example, even though the law says that possession of a common plant is a crime, the real crime is caging a man or woman for years for simply having some of the plant. It is a serious matter to take away a person's freedom for an action that hurts nobody, and the judge, prosecutor and others involved should perhaps be reminded of the harm they are doing. Perhaps they should be tried in an alternative court and sentenced to some time in a secret prison for their immoral actions.


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