Turning an Idea into a Story

I often quote Stephen King. In some ways he’s the king of how to write, so I decided to google search for a picture of him wearing a crown, and low and behold, it exists.

Ta da! I’m not exactly sure what that symbol is in the corner, but whatever.

Well, I’m going to quote him again–or at least paraphrase–something he said in his book On Writing: anything can be a novel. I’ve heard other people say it as well, but I can’t think of who at the moment and they all say the same thing anyway.

You can make anything a story, if only you have the guts to do it.

I think Stephen King uses some example of a plumber in space, so when he says anything can be a story, he really means anything. And I agree with him. If you’re gutsy enough, you’ll go for it. You have to stop worrying about what a story should be, and start thinking about what a story can be. Creativity doesn’t spawn from rules, but from possibilities.

Whether or not you turn this idea into a short story or a novel or a poem or flash fiction is completely up to you. If it feels right, do it, but first, you have to put words on the page. Stop worrying and simply type.

But writer’s block is a real thing, you say. My personal solution to writer’s block is either to not look at it for a while or to type “What I don’t get is…” and then I finish the sentence and then the paragraph, and then I go back and erase the first bit and then I keep going. The point is, there’s a solution. If you want to know more in depth solutions, read my blog on writer’s block: https://rebeccaweirapensivewriter.wordpress.com/2015/09/02/how-to-be-a-writer/ But I don’t want to focus on that here.

Here I want focus on making the story. It doesn’t even have to be something as crazy as a plumber in space. It can be a shoelace on the ground. Ask yourself, what story does it tell? How did it get there? Who’s was it? Where is there shoe?

There are never ending questions and possible directions to take this story, but instead of deciding on a direction, sit down and start typing, and see what comes out. Let the plot develop; let the characters develop; don’t force it.

If you have a more developed plot idea, that’s great. Totally great. Been there done that, but it can be difficult and restrictive, and I think you’ll find that you end up changing a lot of it anyway.

Don’t think: if it’s meant to be, the ideas will come.

There are always ideas. You only have to see them.

That shoelace. That girl standing on the corner of the street. That coffee shop. That blade of grass. That planet. Think big; think small.

No idea is a bad idea, except Fifty Shades of Grey. That was a bad idea.

Hermione approves of that statement.


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