If you’re stuck for the plot of a new story, or even if you’re struggling with the plot of your current story, why not give some of these crazy plot methods a try?
In the best scenario you’ll have uncovered a fresh plot for a new story, at worst it will create a spark and make you think about plotting a bit differently.
- The Treasure Hunt. Write down 10 unrelated objects you would find in a genre on separate little cards. For example, in a detective novel, it could be—revolver, smashed crystal vase, ransom note, etc. Now jumble the cards or pick one at random. Force yourself to write 10 short scenes that use each of those objects in a way that each scene is connected to the one before.
- Masterpiece. Go to a museum or art gallery. What painting or sculpture are you drawn to? Write a synopsis that explains what is happening in that particular piece of art—and why. If you don’t have time to go to a museum, perhaps you saw some graffiti, billboard or a sign that could trigger a plot idea.
- Go Old School. Try writing only the chapter headings of a novel in the style of 18th century authors. For example: “Chapter One; in which our absentminded heroine leaves her hat on the train and meets an odd acquaintance” or “Chapter Six; in which the events at the nightclub conclude with Dario’s escape.”
- On The Face Of It. Write a Facebook post, asking your friends to share the craziest thing they ever did – maybe on first date, first day at a new job – you can ask whatever you want. Use the best or most shocking responses to create an inciting incident in your story.
- Generate It. Try Plot Generator, a website that generates plots and blurbs for your short story, novel or movie script. The website generated a story called “Dolly The Vampire Slayer”. Nothing earth shattering and perhaps a bit unoriginal, but the idea of the story – that three girls share a secret and must solve a puzzle… well, that’s pretty intriguing.
- Dream On. Write down what you remember about the last dream you had, or even the best dream you ever had or the nightmare that left you in a cold sweat. Turn it into a plot – make yourself the antagonist in the story. Give the antagonist your own. Become comfortable with your own fears and weaknesses.
- Wiki It. Go on to Wikipedia and select ‘Random article’. Write a plot outline for the article or entry that pops up. For example, a random hit produced Arthur Inman – a failed poet, a recluse who lived in soundproofed apartments and produced a 13-million-word diary. Sounds like a great story.
If you enjoyed this post, read:
- 6 Myths About Genre That Should Be Shattered
- 5 Ways To Trust Your Instinct For Storytelling
- 7 Simple Tips To Organise Your Research
- 3 Other Ways To Write That Happy Ever After Ending
- Wake Up Writing – Morning Rituals For Busy Scribes
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