HBPress Writing Guide: The Idea – Pt. 2

In the previous installment (click here if you missed it) we discussed where your idea should come from (write what you love).

That seems kind of vague and that’s understandable. What do you love? Probably like most people there are a lot of things you love. The question you have to ask yourself is what gets your blood pumping? What is the one thing you know that you will always and forever be excited about and when someone starts talking about it you can’t wait to jump into the conversation?

That thing, whatever it may be, is what you should write about.

For me, that’s Mecha. I can talk about giant robots until the day I die and be perfectly happy doing so. They’re super cool and who honestly wouldn’t want to pilot a giant metal machine and fight against Kaiju or other machines?

But that’s a digression.

Once you have the thing you love more than anything, you need to figure out the actual IDEA behind your story. Not the concept, because that’s more involved and we’ll get to that probably in the next entry, but the overarching idea. I’ll give you an example of what I mean:

The hero must take the item of power across the world and destroy it before the enemy gets it.

Ok, now name that story. Some of you might get it right off the bat. Others are going to name a bunch of different stories before they get to the one I intended. That’s the point, though. The idea needs to be generic. You can’t start with something super detailed and then pull down to a basic idea (well, some people can, but a lot of people don’t). Taking the generic idea and building from it tends to be easier than the other way around.

If you were wondering, the above is the basic idea of the Lord of the Rings. The hero (Frodo) must take the item of power (The One Ring) across the world (Middle Earth) and destroy it (in the fires of Mount Doom) before the enemy (Sauron) gets it.

You’ll notice that the general idea I posted doesn’t include names, genders, or anything specific. That’s intentional. The idea shouldn’t include those. Once you have the idea, you can go to the concept stage, in which you start world-building and character creation as you flesh out the idea.

So what’s your idea? I’ll give you my current one as another example to hopefully help you on your journey:

The hero lives on a world occupied by the enemy but discovers a way to fight back and free the world.

No names. No genders. No specifics. Just an idea.

Now go out and find your idea. Next time we’ll start expanding your idea to start you on your journey to creating your story!

As always, if you’re looking for something to read, check out our Catalog. You might find something you like.

Until next time: happy writing!

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