My To-Be-Read pile of books is eclipsed only by my To-Be-Listened-To collection of podcasts. In an attempt to make some headway, I’ve been listening to a podcast instead of my usual playlist during my gym workouts (bonus: it makes the time go by faster). Right now I’m working my way through the StoryWonk Sunday writing podcasts by Lani Diane Rich and Alastair Stephens. The podcasts ran from 2012 through 2014, but discussions about story and narrative don’t go out of style and there have been some really thought-provoking discussions.
Anyway, in one of the episodes I listened to last week they did an improv segment where they took a randomly generated story idea, added some characters, and brainstormed a story. It was a lot of fun to listen to and I thought it might be something fun to try here. We’ve talked a lot about story and craft on this blog, so let’s put all those skills into action and write a story (or at least brainstorm one).
First thing we need is a story idea. I’ll just click on the StoryWonk Story Generator and see what comes up. . . .
Sorry, got distracted clicking through randomly generated ideas. Anyway, here’s our story idea:
He’s an adventurous lounge singer with a ten-year-old cell phone; she’s a bitter interior decorator with a powerful amulet. Together, they must uncover a global conspiracy while pretending to be married.
And of course we need some names for these characters. Off to the Character Namer:
Josh Bishop and Natasha Gibson
Okay, so now that we’ve got the basics, it’s time to get brainstorming. Who are these people and what’s going to happen to them during the course of the story? Drawing a blank? Here are some questions to get you thinking:
Why does Josh have a 10-year old cell phone?
Why is Natasha bitter?
Where did she get that amulet?
Who is involved in the conspiracy?
Why do they have to pretend to be married?
Okay, now it’s your turn. Post your thoughts in the comments and let’s see what kind of story we come up with. Lani and Alastair did it in 15 minutes, but we’ve got all day.