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How to Create New Stories - Part Two

(Continued from the page How to Create New Stories)

Many poems are written in such a way that they convey a feeling or picture. Others, however, have a story to tell. But of course there isn't much room on a short poem to tell a story in any detail. Check out a book of poetry and see if there is a poem that strikes you and has potential to be developed into a longer story.

What do you feel? Emotions are a gold mine of new stories if you approach them properly. They already come from the stories we tell ourselves. Indignation is from a story of someone doing something unfair, and jealousy from a story of threatened loyalty. Take any emotion, and imagine what scenario would evoke it most strongly. This then, can become a bigger story if you work with it.

Make a list until you find a story.

Take any of the techniques mentioned above and use it to make a list. If you are scouring the news for new stories, for example, write down everything that is on the evening news if it is even a little bit interesting. To create a "principles in action" story, list all the moral principles that are important to you. Then review these lists until one of the items there grabs you. Start with that.

There are many ways, but the surest way is to start writing anything. Work, and not waiting, is the quickest route to inspiration for new stories.

Go for unique angles.

One way to come up with ideas for new stories is to challenge the common characters and cultural themes in existing stories. Movies are a good place to start. For example, why are wealthy businessmen almost always portrayed as corrupt in movies? Maybe it's time for a story in which the poor characters are the bad guys and the rich ones are the heroes?

Challenge the existing cultural beliefs and biases as well. Make a drug dealer the hero and the police the villains. Don't do it just for the sake of controversy, but make it something that could really occur (or has).

Update children's stories.

Many children's stories can be great for adults as well. This is especially true of fairy tales. Find some you liked as a child and look for a new way to tell it the basic story in another time and setting, making it more appropriate to adults.

Use songs.

Songs often have a story element to them. Even when they do not explicitly tell a story they can suggest new stories that you can tell. Listen to the lyrics and imagine what you might see if you were watching a music video.


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