Short stories are one of the cornerstones of fiction writing. Composing short stories can be a lot of fun, whether you're doing it to complete a school assignment, to enter a contest, or just because you like it. The first step in composing a short story is to come up with an idea. Fortunately, this is not very difficult to do. By looking around you for inspiration, brainstorming basic elements, and experimenting with writing guidelines, you'll come up with great concepts in no time.
Method 1 of 3: Look Around You for Inspiration
Step 1. Make a list of five things that you are afraid of
A central component in any story is the character's emotional motivation. Few emotions are more attractive than fear. Sit down and create a list of five things that you are afraid of. (Don't think about it so much, just take out a pen and start writing.) See if you can imagine a character who shares that emotional experience, and think about how this can shape their story.
Step 2. Use a story from your life
Another method you can do to create an idea for your story is to take something that happened to yourself. Think about times in your life when you had a high level of emotional intensity: When did you have too much fun, when did your heart break, or when did you experience intense anger? When did you learn a very important lesson? When did an experience change your life? You can always dramatize or change the story to make it more interesting, but the experiences you've had are always a good starting point for a story.
Step 3. Look for inspiration in the news
A classic source for finding inspiration for new stories is in the news. Open a newspaper, turn on the television, or search online for your main news source. Some newspapers also have a funny or wacky news section, and these can be a great place to start.
Step 4. Spy
One of the best sources of inspiration is the people around you. Go to a place where there are a lot of people (a park, a restaurant, a bar) and just listen to people talk. (It can be helpful to bring a book to pretend you're reading, or put on a pair of headphones but don't listen to music.) Ordinary people often say very funny and interesting things. Let something you hear spark an idea for your story.
Step 5. Read some "missed connections"
Another place where you can find great ideas for new stories is the "missed connections" section on Craigslist. This section is where people try to contact people they have run into in the world. In some cases, these stories have great potential. Take the time to read those stories and see if something catches your eye.
Method 2 of 3: Use writing prompts
Step 1. Write about something ugly
When you hear the word "ugly", what comes to mind? Is it a person's face, an unpleasant act, or a poorly decorated room? Use your concept of ugliness to generate a story.
Step 2. Imagine that an asteroid is heading straight for Earth:
How can it be stopped? What will happen when it collides with Earth? Will there be a post apocalyptic landscape? Who is responsible for the asteroid? Could it be aliens?
Step 3. Write about one or both of your parents
Your parents can be great people or they can be bad people. Be that as it may, it's a good start to the story. You can tell the truth about your parents or you can speculate about things that may happen (or things that have already happened).
Step 4. Imagine a closed door
Why is that door closed? What is behind the door? Does the door go to the inside of a building or to the outside? Is it just a door in the middle of the desert? Can this door lead to another dimension or to an important business meeting?
Step 5. Imagine a Chinese restaurant
A woman opens a fortune cookie that says, "You are in grave danger. Don't tell anyone." What is that woman doing? Will you believe what that fortune cookie says? Who is trying to warn you? Who is trying to hurt you and why?
Step 6. Look for unique patterns
If using writing guidelines is helpful to you, start looking for your own guidelines. Read books full of writing guidelines (for example, 397 writing guidelines and ideas, "" 300 writing guidelines, "and" 642 things to write about ") at your local bookstore or search the Internet. You can also find another writer who help you make guidelines and you help him.
Method 3 of 3: Brainstorm Building Blocks
Step 1. Imagine a character
The basic elements of any story are the character, the plot (what the character wants and what gets in his way), the setting, and a theme. You can start with any of these, but the most common place to start is with the character. Look around you, what do you find interesting? Can you imagine an interesting person in your mind? Let that person be your main character.
- You can try to think of someone you know with extraordinary characteristics.
- Do you know of someone who is extraordinarily beautiful, brave, or strange?
- Let those people inspire your character.
Step 2. Find out what your character wants
At the center of every story is desire. In order to start formulating your plot, you must first figure out what your character wants. You can start by asking yourself what it is you want. Can you make a list of five things you want? Do any of those make you think of your main character?
Another question you can ask yourself is what does your character need at that moment. A sense of urgency makes the story stronger
Step 3. Create an obstacle
If the center of every story is the character who wants something, then the driving force behind the story is the obstacle in your character's path. What prevents your character from getting what he wants? What is holding you back and keeping you from achieving your goals? Make this concrete and immediate (unless it doesn't have to be realistic).
Step 4. Place them in an environment
The setting of a story includes the place and period in which your story takes place, as well as the details that occur in that place. To create your environment, ask yourself the following: What city are they in? What year is? What does the place where you are look like? What's the weather like? How are people dressed?
- It can also help you to think about places you've been or places you'd like to visit.
- You can also think of places that appeared in your dreams.
Step 5. Come up with a topic
Behind the main goal of your character and his search full of obstacles, there must be a message or a theme. You can start to come up with the theme of your story by asking yourself 4 things that are very important to you. After that, look at the list of those 4 things. It is very likely that in that list you will find a theme that you can use.
- For example, your list of things that are important to you might include your family, recycling, eating healthy, and watching good movies.
- Some of the themes that are incorporated in your list can be "the family is the center of a happy life", "saving the earth is essential if we humans want to survive", "you are what you eat" and "see stories of others people help us understand our own lives. "
- Don't cross out your ideas, every topic has great potential to turn into something amazing!
- Don't be afraid to combine two or even three ideas together.
- You don't always have to start with a topic. You can start with an image, a description, a character, or an environment.