Writing is tough and sometimes we don’t know where to begin or where to get ideas from. That’s why I’m thrilled to have Amy Christine Parker, thriller author of GATED, ASTRAY, and SMASH & GRAB, here today. She has some excellent writing tips on where to get ideas for your writing and how to start revising.
Amy gets her book inspirations from documentaries and current events that peak her curiosity and get her asking one vital question: What if? For GATED, Amy was inspired by the three things: the impending (at the time she was writing) Mayan Apocalypse, a documentary on doomsday shelters, and the times she watched Scientologists walking the streets of Clearwater en masse (all wearing the exact same clothes) as she took her daughter to story time at the Clearwater library. Her “what if” for GATED was: What would it be like to grow up with parents who strongly believed in an impending apocalypse?
The What If Writing Assignment
1. Have students scour current news (could be from a show, magazine, newspaper, etc.) for real stories they find interesting.
2. Have students brainstorm ways that they might be able to use their real life story to brainstorm their own fictional short story. It can be from any genre: fantasy, science fiction, horror, romance, or mystery.
3. Using the story board techniques shown here and here.
4. Once they have brainstormed what scenes they will need, have them draft a rough draft of their story then follow the process most writers use to revise their work (before they send it to their agents/editors for even more revisions).
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