The Love Child – Mashing Up Wild Plot Ideas


We’ve been exploring plot ideas this month. I think that putting a magnifying glass on plot is always a good idea. Characters are vital in a story, but plot is what holds it all together. It allows the characters to come to life – with challenges, unusual twists, new challenges.

To create a hybrid plot – or if you want to think of it as a love child of two disparate ideas – you can try the ‘X meets Y’ challenge, one often used in Hollywood to develop ‘high concept’ films – those summer blockbusters we all love.

For example, if you look at the ‘mashing up’ of comedy, horror, and sci-fi in the successful – if silly – Sharknado franchise, you could say it’s ‘Jaws meets Twister.’

The new Will Smith movie, Bright, could be described as ‘Cop thriller meets fantasy.’  In my novel, I pay homage to psycho thrillers of the 70s and 80s, so it’s a bit ‘Fatal Attraction with a couple.’

Just for fun – Try this

Draw up three columns of three lines each. Now fill in the spaces with genres.

Then drop your pen on any three random genres and create a brief ‘concept’ or storyline. So maybe: romance, police procedural, gothic horror.

What it looks like on the page?

As a storm gathers from Cape Town, a gothic church in a small Karoo town is struck by fire. In the aftermath, the body of a young child is found. Small town policeman, Hans, discovers that the child is a missing persons case from 30 years ago. He has to work with Jana, a beautiful Cape Town clairvoyant, to solve the case, but finds himself attracted to her.

What did you come up with?

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If you enjoyed this post, read:

  1. Same Lamp, Different Light – Finding A New Lens for Old Plots
  2. Test Your Plot – Finding A Fresh Angle Is Easier Than You Think
  3. The Power Of A Blank Page: 5 Ways To Create A Space for A Story To Grow