I’m on a mission to gather 30 short story ideas before the end of October. I will then write one 1700-word story per day through the 30 days of November, harnessing the global enthusiasm for NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) to keep me going. Purists may argue that writing short stories rather than novels for NaNoWriMo is cheating but for me, as long as I’m in the groove and aiming for 50,000 words, it doesn’t matter – it’s not a competition and no one is giving out prizes.
How do I come up with 30 short story ideas?
So far, I’ve amassed 14 and used a variety of means. There were a few ideas floating in my head anyway, a friend sent me a page of prompts used by her poetry society, I took inspiration from all the recent royal coverage, and I discovered this online short story generator. Fill in the form to customise the story or take the option to fill the form with random things, then let the generator do its stuff.
Warning: the story will be nonsense. However, the first time I used it the opening sentence triggered an idea for me and the second time around it produced an intriguing title.
Might be worth a try if you’ve got a blank piece of paper and an empty mind?
For anybody not familiar with NaNoWriMo, the 30 stories I write will be very rough drafts, time doesn’t permit anything else. From December onwards they will need to be worked upon, crafted to the right length to suit the prospective market and then submitted gradually next year.
Whatever you choose to write in November, it only generates a starting point to be worked on over future months. It is never an endpoint in itself.
#1 by Joanna Bucktrout on September 22, 2022 - 10:45 am
Thank you, Sally. Your blogs are always of interest and helpful ideas. Much appreciated.
#2 by Sally Jenkins on September 22, 2022 - 1:52 pm
You say such lovely things, Joanna! Good to have you on board.
#3 by keithhavers on September 22, 2022 - 6:07 pm
Sounds like a brilliant idea. I might try something similar.
#4 by Sally Jenkins on September 23, 2022 - 5:01 pm
Hope it goes well, Keith.
#5 by Cindy Leopold-Ritsko on September 23, 2022 - 2:08 am
Great explanation, Sally. Thanks for the post.
#6 by Sally Jenkins on September 23, 2022 - 4:57 pm
No problem Cindy. Thanks for dropping by.
#7 by Marjorie Neilson on September 23, 2022 - 7:11 am
I often use a first line generator. Sometimes it gives the weirdest sentence e.g. beneath the surface of time. I wrote a poem from that. Just read a line in an old book. New fridge, old blankets and the little grey cells said Hm! Interesting.
#8 by Sally Jenkins on September 23, 2022 - 4:59 pm
It’s odd how the strangest things can generate a chain of thought, isn’t it?
#9 by emyatt2015seasidescribbler on September 23, 2022 - 3:50 pm
Inspirational Stuff, Sally 🙂
#10 by Sally Jenkins on September 23, 2022 - 5:00 pm
Hope it helps, Emma!