Exercise 10.1 – Five Story Ideas

Writing exercise 1 from “Writing Excuses” episode 10.1

Along with my writing prompts I am working through the podcast that I just discovered called “Writing Excuses”.  In Season 10 (2015) they began to walk through what they are calling a “master class” writing seminar.  Many of the episodes have writing exercises.  I will be working through these as I listen to the episodes.   In episode 10.1 I get my first exercise.  I hope others enjoy my travel through this as I do.  I can guarantee these ideas are not the best but according to the podcast that is not necessary, that is part of the exercise.

Exercise 10.1

Write down five different story ideas in 150 words or less. Generate these ideas from these five sources

  1. From an interview or conversation you’ve had
  2. From research you’ve done (reading science news, military history, etc)
  3. From observation (go for a walk!)
  4. From a piece of media (watch a movie)
  5. From a piece of music (with or without lyrics)

From an interview or conversation you’ve had

Tech support for non traditional tech support calls.  From the point of view of a tech support operator Samuel Williams, who receives calls for … surgeon having difficulty accessing his equipment.  An agent unable to activate his spy gear…. Or even a tech support for people’s memories.  They can not do a task due to a memory “glitch” and must have the tech support person access and ‘unlock’ those memories/skills/training.  Samuel must work through these tech calls rebooting the individual’s mind.  It is not until he gets a serious situation (undercover agent?) who is depending on the frequent reboots to save his life.  The frequent caller is being targeted by someone who is erasing his memory.

From research you’ve done (reading science news, military history, etc)

A wizard or superpowered person has the ability to create things by spoken / written word.  It must be described in great detail to allow for it to come into being.  Then something that already exist must be sacrificed to bring the new item into being.  This is not known by the caster (or is known but not told to the apprentice).  He is also struck with the inability to speak and must pass on his knowledge to an apprentice.  He struggles to teach the apprentice how to cast without the ability to speak.

From observation (go for a walk!)

Have you ever walked a wooded path in a park and felt as if someone was watching?  Have you ever sat under a tree in a park and heard a strange noise and just assumed it was a small animal that you could not see?  There is some truth in this, it was something you could not see but an animal it was not.  Wooded gnomes do exist and they are not the cute little creatures you see in the gardens across America. You should be more cautious considering what they are after.  One teen girl is the target of these creatures but they only want to protect her since she is their queen who was stolen long ago.  They want to bring her back but only after she is ready.

From a piece of media (watch a movie)

A man who was part of a heist that was successful now has no memory of the job or even who he is.   The unfortunate part for him is that the targets of the heist are now after him and he does not understand why.  He still has his muscle memory for fighting and skullduggery but is trying to quickly find out why.   He is seeking help from sources he did not know existed and people he does not really know.

From a piece of music (with or without lyrics)

[from “Monster” by Skillet]

A Dr Jekel / Mr Hyde type story.   A woman who has a SOMETHING (demon, evil, wolf, supernatural power) inside her.   She is doing everything to live normally.   She wants to get rid of it but it is fighting back, fighting to be the dominant power.  The fight is for her body and soul.  Can she win this fight? Will she have to admit what she is to others to gain their help or can she solve this by herself?