It’s time to expand those ideas. Last time (I apologize for getting too busy for these – also I’ll be honest, when I get lack of interaction I let them slide a lot) we were talking about coming up with ideas for a story.
But now what happens if you have an idea and you want to expand it? If maybe you’re just a little hesitant to start writing and you’d like a little more to go on. Perhaps you are concerned that it won’t be much, or the idea won’t be as substantial for a story as you think.
I don’t care what idea you come up with. The idea in your head is worthy of a story if you think it is. Nothing can’t be made into a story. It may not be a prize winner, but if it’s entertaining? It’s a story to tell. Be passionate about that idea. If you’re feeling so-so about the idea, then why would anyone else feel crazy for it? That isn’t to say other writers and authors out there haven’t written stories they were under contract to write. That they were just paid to write or someone else told them to write it. Maybe they were forced in some way to write it.
That out of the way, let’s get started on building up that story for you.
I’ll share a few more dreams for you since they spur some interesting ideas for me. And they are in my head. I’m doing this so that I can use them as examples for you. By sharing an example of how I can expand something as simple as a basic dream to a more complicated dream, you can actually see it in action and have it help you with an idea of your own. Feel free to play with the idea in the comments! Then we can help expand it if you like.
Two major ones stand out in my head the most.
FIRST IDEA – the most basic idea I’ll pop up
A woman is in the bed with her husband. He’s got his arm around her back. She’s full of sweat and hot, but she doesn’t want to move.
The idea above is the most basic that it can get, which is why I shared it. I won’t say why it’s stuck in my head either.
From here, we can ask questions of this story idea to expand it. Is it really her husband? Is this a sweet story (it was in my dream) or is it more? Maybe it’s not such a sweet tale. So go back to the basic questions.
Why is she in bed with him?
When I remove myself from the dream, I think to myself that they aren’t married to one another. That she’s there for some other reason than it being a sweet moment with her husband. It only looks that way from the outside.
What if he’s not even alive?
I know, I know, but my brain is fed from horror and constantly heads down that arena. So let’s follow. Maybe what is really going on is that he died while they were erm . . . together if you will. And because of that, she’s going to wake up and find that out. Or he’s dead because of a disease that neither of them found out until too late and he’ll be waking up as a zombie, or vampire even, but not “vampire” by traditional means, but rather a science made one where the disease turned him into a monster which feeds off blood.
Who is she?
Maybe she isn’t human and she’s preying on him to feed her. Life force? Now that would be cool to follow. She is like the succubus in some ways, but it’s more than that. I’ll quit before that stirs in me more ideas. Follow that route if you like.
A group of people are inside of a house. A female (human) wants to go into her room, but realizes that there is a shadowed form outside the window. It’s waiting out there, watching for her to come in. The problem is that she knows if it sees her, then bad things will happen. It’s calm and fine now, but if it sees here, if it has confirmation she is out there, it will attempt to break the window. The window is glass so it won’t take much.
(The thing out there waiting is like a bili ape, but they were also like the apes in the Planet of the Apes movies – extremely intelligent and near human in the way they acted. They liked their independence, but they could “hunt” in groups as well.)
Knowing it waited for her, she had a friend go in and he shut the curtains so she could enter the bedroom. The animal waiting knew this though. The mere act of the male shutting the curtains said everything. Which only made it angrier.
(In my dream there was a reason for it watching for her, but I’m leaving that out so it allows more play room with this idea.)
Sensing the problems arising from all this, the group who were in the house knew they needed to leave. Trouble with getting out was that they’d attracted the whole groups of ape’s attention. The humans tried to leave, but couldn’t through the front door – they had to secure it – so they tried the back. But when they tried the back, which was overhanging a cliff so they needed a rope ladder to descend, the group of apes grabbed and killed one of them, and were using the rope ladder to get into the house.
So now we’re going to follow the above and ask some questions of this story idea/dream.
Why is the thing waiting on her?
Is this for a reason like killing her? Maybe he’s not waiting to kill her, but something else. If it can speak, then that will also lead us into a different area of thoughts. What would it want to tell her? WHAT IF it’s interested in kidnapping her and why would it want to do so?
What if it’s not interested in hurting her, despite evidence to the contrary? What if instead, the being outside the room is interested in protecting her. The people inside could be the ones intending harm to her, or just the rest of the creatures outside the house. I like the idea of the people inside being the enemy though. We get the idea from the dream that the creature is the one she needs to fear, but what if it weren’t? What if the people were intending to hurt her, but the creature has been trying to warn her long before my dream started at that place. She’s being convinced by those in the house that the things outside are bad, but she should be wary of the ones inside, not outside.
See how this can go?
If we simply start to ask questions of any idea (I personally love dreams) then we can end up with a lot of information. We can ask questions of the names, of the background, of why this or that. Why is a great question to throw in because it can take a lot of paths. There is no right or wrong. Take an idea and expand on it, expand on that. And as I mentioned in this post about outlines and the like, there will be a story that comes. Personally I do the majority of it in my head.
NEXT WEEK’S TOPIC:
WE HAVE OUR IDEAS, WE’VE EXPANDED
NOW LET’S GET TO KNOW OUR CHARACTERS
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In the comments below tell me – what is your favorite way to expand an idea? If you have one right now, let’s work out any problems you’re facing with it.
YOUR PARTICIPATION MAKES THIS SERIES WORK!
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