Fleshing out ideas

Yesterday I discussed jotting down ideas. Looking back now I probably should have stressed the importance of writing your ideas down, so I’ll do that now.

Write them all down. Get them out of your brain so you can fit more ideas in there.

So what about fleshing out your ideas? Well, that is where the magic happens. That is when I feel my creative juices flow. So let’s take an example from yesterday: that of the Solar Boys.

The Solar Boys are a couple brothers who live in Pakistan. They suffer from paralysis when the sun goes down. A very intriguing condition, but how could I use this in writing?

My first thought is some kind of a spell or hex. Vampires also come to mind since they have a day/night thing, even though they are opposite. The other notion that comes to mind thinking about some kids afflicted by this condition is that maybe it’s related to plants since plants have cycles based on the amount of sunlight. Plant-based people could work well too.

Four ideas in one minute of writing. Let’s talk about each of these:

If you wrote mystery novels, you might go with a medical angle, Poisoning perhaps? This, of course, conjures up notions of a medical student hell-bent on turning people into plants or something. I know it seems like it’s something out of a 90’s Batman film, but it might work.

I think for paranormal the vampire angle might be an interesting one to look into. Maybe someone is trying to find a cure for vampirism and stumbles across some enzyme in a vampire’s bite that they then study. They formulate what they think is an antidote, but it’s not working. So they try it on themselves, or someone who has never been bitten, then suddenly find out that they become paralyzed once the sun goes down. If you want to up the creep factor, you can make them fully aware of everything that happens to them but is unable to do anything about it, then have a vampire coven trying to track them down to stop their research.

As for the spell/hex, I think that’s the one I’m most interested in. I’ll do a treatment on the idea tomorrow, and flesh out the storyline a little bit more, but hopefully, this shows you a little bit on how to take two simple words: “Solar Boys” and start turning them into a solid idea for a story.

Doing so takes a bit of skill, and my #1 recommendation for writers who don’t seem to have a lot of inspiration is to read more. The more you read, the more you join the zeitgeist of literature. The more stories you have to pull from and combine to come up with something unique.

Till tomorrow,

Tom

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