This is the eighth year in a row I've run this series in April. Last week I provided a daily explanation about why you should make it a habit to be generating story ideas. This week, I'll give you some tips on how to come up with stories.
Tip: Look at magazines.
I love magazines. Or at least I used to. Before at one point, I had over 30 subscriptions! [Now I'm down to 2: The New Yorker and the New York Review of Books].
The thing is if you're trolling magazines for possible story ideas, you have to avoid the biggies like People, US, Time, Newsweek, Vanity Fair, Rolling Stone, GQ, Esquire, and so on. You can be sure that Hollywood studios and producers cover those regularly. Indeed more and more magazine writers tailor their stories as possible movie projects.
No, you need to dig deeper and go wider with your research into magazines. Fast Company, Smithsonian, New Scientist are some good ones.
Then think regional like Southern Living. Or foreign like Der Spiegel. Or really odd like Miniature Donkey Talk Magazine.
Again there are plenty of story ideas out there, especially in magazines. You just have to look for them.
Today's story idea: Polar bears hold Russian scientists hostage on tiny Arctic island.
A group of Russian scientists have been trapped for two weeks by polar bears at an Arctic island weather station. The scientists face a month-long wait for a rescue.
Five scientists based at a weather station on Troynoy Island in the Kara sea north of Siberia were surrounded by the group of 10 adults and cubs about two weeks ago, Russian news agency TASS reported on Monday.
Polar bears are magnificent creatures. They are also omnivores. Which means part of their diet is meat. Mostly seals. But humans? If the opportunity arises, they have been known to attack.
Don't get me wrong. I love polar bears. I wrote a movie about one: Alaska. I had a direct encounter with Agee, the polar bear cub who starred in the movie. She thinks she's a dog! She even has her own Facebook page.
But in my extensive research when writing Alaska, I learned that polar bears — unlike Agee — and humans are not best buddies.
Throw in global warming. Arctic ice melting. If this continues, polar bears are pretty much screwed. What if they sense their extinction in the offing?
The story I'm envisioning is Jaws meets The Thing: Scientists in the Arctic discover they are surrounded by a bunch of polar bears. They are pissed. Mother Nature is not happy. And the bears are going to dispose of those responsible — these humans — one by one.
See also: The Birds. Contained horror-thriller.
There you go: My tenth story idea for the month. And it's yours. Free!
Now it's your turn. What would you do with this story setup?
Each day this month, I invite you to click on RESPONSES and join me to do some further brainstorming. Take each day's story idea and see what it can become when you play around with it. These are all valuable skills for a writer to develop.
See you in comments. And come back tomorrow for another Story Idea Each Day For A Month.
For other posts in my A Story Idea Each Day for a Month (2017) series, go here.