I just wrapped up a short road trip through the Pacific Northwest. Beautiful country. Here are three story ideas I’m working on as a result of the trip.
A brother tries to counsel and console his sister through a difficult divorce. What problems from their past come up, and what happens when the soon-to-be ex-husband shows up drunk?
A preacher discovers that someone who looks exactly like him has been visiting strip clubs. How does he deal with his church members who lose faith in him, and what does he do when he finally hunts down his double and confronts him?
A wealthy marketing executive in Northern California wants to buy a motorcycle but his wife is opposed since her father died on a motorcycle. Does the executive buy a motorcycle or not, and how does the wife respond?
And here are some possible names for the sister in the first story idea. She is the one going through the difficult divorce.
- Aimee Raquel Wilder
- Beverley Carmela Farmer
- Cherie Freida Harrell
- Claudette Geraldine Castillo
- Dawn Bradford
- Deana Justine Martinez
- Elizabeth Gina Barrett
- Elvira Sallie Benton
- Enid Crawford
- Erma Warner
- Essie Minnie Sargent
- Evangeline Hanson
- Felecia Colon
- Felecia Sofia Riley
- Felicia William
- Francisca Pugh
- Greta Megan Hodge
- Helen Frazier
- Holly Suzette Armstrong
- Ila Jacklyn Maxwell
- Inez Lenore Harrington
- Jacquelyn Sophia Glover
- Janine Marina Haley
- Josie Earnestine Ortega
- Julie Florence Carr
- Julie Lorrie Chandler
- Krista Tonia Black
- Ladonna Cassie Love
- Lara Alford
- Letha Lorna Mcgee
- Luella Lucinda Barton
- Mae Odonnell
- Margaret Phillips
- Myra Le
- Myrtle Stokes
- Nadine Kemp
- Naomi Dora Mcpherson
- Natalie Levy
- Paula Casandra Doyle
- Rhoda Adela Nixon
- Rosa Padilla
- Rowena Raymond
- Sheila Walls
- Simone Avery
- Toni Beverly Wooten
- Trina Hunter
- Ursula Simone Todd
- Wendy Ila Velasquez
- Willa Angelica Young
- Yvonne Abigail Moreno
Christopher Booker wrote a book entitled, The Seven Basic Plots: Why We Tell Stories in 2004. Here are his seven plot concepts.
Overcoming the Monster
The protagonist sets out to defeat something that threatens him/her or a group they belong to.
Rags to Riches
A protagonist is in some way misfortunte, usually financially. Throughout the story, he/she acquires things such as power, wealth or a love interest.
The protagonist sets out to acquire an object or get to a location, facing many obstacles and temptations along the way.
Voyage and Return
The protagonist goes to a strange land and, after overcoming the threats it poses to him or her, returns with experience.
A humorous character faces conflict that becomes more and more confusing, but is at last made plain in a single clarifying event.
The protagonist is a hero who makes a mistake that brings about his/her downfall, evoking sympathy.
An important event forces the main character to change his/her ways, often making him/her a better person.
I’ve also collected a few simple story ideas for this Summer that follow these plot frameworks.
- A pilot from Denmark is delighted when he gets the chance to take part in the final of Bake Off. However, his chances are scuppered by an angry tiger. Despite everything, the pilot wins the competition and becomes a global celebrity..
- An author from Liverpool is delighted when she gets the chance to take part in the final of a talent show. However, her chances are scuppered when her car breaks down on the way to the competition. After the drama, the author realizes there is more to life than winning a talent show and goes on a picnic with her mother instead..
- Charlie is a Jedi from England who falls in love with his golf caddy. The two are separated when the golf caddy catches the flu and has to stay in hospital where she makes new friends. However, Charlie manages to rescue the situation by hacking into his email.
- In a world where apes have infiltrated the government, one carpenter has no choice but to protect mankind using the best golf club in the word. After a long and drawn out battle, the carpenter saves the day.
- Stafford is a wizard from Japan who falls in love with his best friend. The two are separated when the best friend goes away to war. However, Stafford manages to rescue the situation by slaying a dragon.
- When a cowboy from Canada learns the secret to world peace, not everybody is supportive. However, his fortunes improve when his arch enemy gets him a gig at a local theatre. In the end, the cowboy becomes a better person and is admired by all.
- In a world where monkeys are warriors, one acrobat has no choice but to leave Facebook using just her mind. Finally, the acrobat has a meaningful chat with the monkeys and they come to an amicable agreement.
- In a world where apes have infiltrated the government, one fairy has no choice but to find another planet to colonize by becoming a world leader. Eventually, the fairy forms an army and teaches the apes a little respect.
An unusual collection of story ideas to celebrate the arrival of July and the height of Summer.
In a world where zombies are stand-up comedians, one comedian has no choice but to assassinate an honorable man by killing his own father. Finally, the comedian has a meaningful chat with the zombies and they come to an amicable agreement.
Matt is a politician from Alaska who falls in love with his step-sister. The two are separated when the step-sister falls into the ocean and loses his memory. Matt turns to drink then accidentally runs his step-sister over.
In a world where vampires are miraculously transformed into heavenly creatures, one orphan has no choice but to kill an elderly man using an infinite stabler. Despite the orphan’s best efforts, the world ends and everybody dies.
When a virgin from Japan develops a fear of cockerels, not everybody is supportive. However, his fortunes improve when his teacher writes a wonderful song. The virgin eventually achieves his goal but finds the results unfulfilling.
Brad is a killer fueled by greed, who murders nurses and wraps them in toilet paper. Lady Megre, a graduate from Liverpool, knows she has to stop him. Eventually, Megre captures the killer and wins a bravery award.
I’m working on a new story idea, which goes a little like this:
Two brothers fly to one of the most remote places on earth to search for a third brother. Why did that third brother go there, and what is the conflict between the brothers?
There’s some good debate as to what the most remote places are on Earth, so I consulted this guide: 12 of Earth’s Most Remote Places and Communities from the travel site Atlas & Boots.
I’m settling on using the Kerguelen Islands as the main setting. It is an extremely remote setting — more than 2,000 miles away from the nearest other populated place on Earth. That would make it incredibly challenging to get to. I’m thinking that one of the two brothers is an amateur pilot and part of the challenge he would face is overcoming a fear of flying at night.
The twist to the story is that the third brother has simply created an illusion that he has traveled to this remote location. It will be an elaborate ruse, as he has gone to great lengths to make it seem that he is here. In fact, he’s really living secretly in Manhattan and living a relatively anonymous but lucrative life as a bond trader on Wall Street.
Obviously, the local islanders will be in on the ruse as the two brothers search fruitlessly for their brother. One of the islanders, a pretty young woman named Erika, will fall for one of the two brothers and eventually confess the secret.
Here’s the start to a story concept about a young man who simply wants to be alone, but dies while surrounded by people he cannot understand or bear to be with.
It was a tattered day accentuated by the windy drizzle. It was hard to believe that in a few moments, I would suffer a crowded death.
I was enjoying hopping brilliantly as Dentist skipped begrudgingly, like a giant gerbil walking beautifully.
The ruler had tattered trees and a windy eye. It didn’t look dangerous. Not even its worrying flaps warned me of my fate. I should have sensed the danger in its hill.
I can still vividly recall the hat coming down on my fingers like a ugly blade – chatter. My life slipped away.
Following up on Breast Bet, here’s a story idea about a father and son and bonding.
An absent father tries to reconnect with his teenage son by taking him to bowling alleys and teaching him the game. How do they bond over the game of bowling, and what is the biggest resentment the son has against his father?
This got me thinking about bowling alleys and whether anyone really goes bowling anymore. It seems to be a pastime out of a bygone era. Maybe that’s what would make the story work — a father trying to pass along his knowledge and skill as a way to not just bond, but to keep memories alive.
I was thinking about opening the story with this line:
He was going back to a place he’d hoped he would never see again.
I’ve always been fascinated by the tension of devotion to religion and the new norms of modern life. Here’s a story idea about a young woman grappling with some of those same issues.
A 18-year-old woman who has grown up in a polygamous Mormon community just outside St. George, Utah, decides she wants to leave just before she’s betrothed to a much older man with three wives. How does she escape, and how do they attempt to track her down?
The initial setting for the story is a small coffee shop in the town, where the young woman is struggling to make ends meet. Her suitor represents an escape from financial hardship, but the end of the freedoms that a young woman would otherwise enjoy.
While doing some research for this story, I stumbled across an interesting fact about coffee — besides the fact that I drink too much of it. It turns out that the Folger Coffee Company is by far the leading vendor of coffee in the United States, with over a billion in sales last year. Who knew?
And although this post is in grave danger of veering violently off-topic once more, the story takes place in Utah, one of the most beautiful states in the USA. Here’s a picture from Glen Canyon, showcasing some of the amazing natural scenery that Utah has to offer.