Ideas are easy! With a little practice you can come up with hundreds of them.
But sometimes it takes a little more work to unpick the details that are inherent in an idea in order to form a complete narrative.
This story worksheet and its six honest serving-men are here to help!
This worksheet is largely a guide to using questions to develop a story idea. The more interesting and varied the question you ask, the more useful will be the answers.
- Enter your idea at the top of the worksheet.
For example: “a god returns to a planet to oversee the excavation of his ancient temples.”
- Use the second column to finish the question. For example:
- WHO IS… the god?
- WHAT IS HE… looking for?
- WHERE IS HE… from?
- WHEN IS HE… going to reveal the truth?
- HOW IS HE… there?
- WHY IS HE… in trouble?
- Use the third column to brainstorm an answer to the question. For example:
- A giant
- A name
- A technologically-advanced planet
- When he’s threatened with exposure
- A spaceship
- The other gods found something out
- Use the remaining columns to pose and answer further questions, either about the third column answers, or about other aspects of the original idea. For example:
- WHO IS… excavating?
- WHAT IS… the temple for?
- WHERE IS… the god’s home planet?
- WHEN… did they start excavating?
- HOW IS… the god helping?
- WHY… do they need help?
Once you have a worksheet full of questions and answers, you can start using them to construct your story.
- Consider each question as opening a loop and each answer as closing one. What is the main story loop?
- Use the questions and answers you brainstormed to create scene summaries, and use a plot formula to organise them into a story structure.
- Start writing, ticking off the questions and answers as you deal with them in your narrative.
Need more ideas? Here are some articles and worksheets…
- 100 Story Ideas
- 30 Scene Ideas for Plot Development
- 30 Scene Ideas for Character Development
- 30 Scene Ideas for World Development
- 30 Ideas for Your Opening Scene
- 52 Romance Story Ideas
- Idea Engine
- Idea Ranker