Tuesday, April 12, 2022

1000 story ideas in a week?

I once claimed online to other writers that I could come up with 1000 ideas for stories or novels in a week.


I know, pretty big brag, right? But ideas are the easy part. And it doesn't take me much to get ideas. Chance remarks, a headline, a photograph, a sound, a memory, a general topic that I can brainstorm from and get 20 or 30 connected ideas, jumping off that central concept (a mind map, basically, for those who know the term).

So tomorrow, I'll spend a day writing ideas at that rate. (edit--I was going to do it for a week, but I'll just get bored in a week, I can see after one day. One day should be proof of concept.) Will they be brilliant? No. Quality comes in the execution, not in the idea. Will they be a complete plot? No. I'm talking only about ideas, kernels, enough to get me started outlining and writing. A logline or an elevator pitch in length. Not a two-page outline.

Will I post every thought that crosses my mind? No. If I get a really appealing idea that I may want to write, I may put it in my "ideas" folder (which is stuffed, and which I'm unlikely to get to any time soon) and not post it here. I'll count how many I do this with (it'll be fewer than 10, I imagine).

Do I care if you "steal my ideas?" and write your own story? Not one little bit. Ideas, as I say, are the easy part. Have at it. If I came up with "a family loses a child and is torn apart by it," you and I would write two vastly different stories from the prompts. So you see how "stealing ideas" isn't a big deal.

Do I care if you steal this list and publish it as a book of prompts and make money from it? Yes, I do care about that. It's for free to everyone, should anyone notice and want to spin off one of my idea kernels.

Let's see how close I can come to that rate. 142 ideas per day.

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