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Excerpt for 366 Story Seeds by , available in its entirety at Smashwords

366 Story Seeds


by


Neil Shooter



Copyright 2018



All Rights Reserved.


Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or in any means – by electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise – without prior written permission of the author.


Smashwords Edition


Cover design, copyright Neil Shooter, 2018

Cover art: "Carousel" by Neil Shooter, 2017




Contents

Introduction

How to use this book

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Introduction [Back to top]


Getting ideas is hard. I used to really struggle with finding them. I didn’t know where to look. I didn’t understand how writers got their ideas.

Now I do. I realized that we walk through a soup of ideas every single day, and that the trick is to notice them, to recognize them, and most importantly, to record them.

I learned that the more I looked for ideas, the more I found ideas. Your mind gets used to looking at the world a certain way. If that way is full of curiosity, and dreams, and possibilities, then the universe responds in kind. Sounds too good to be true, I know.

Having a collection of ideas is only the first step. You must investigate the idea, and examine it. You ask the idea questions. Why is it like this? What needed to happen to make it possible? What are its consequences? What does it mean?

Once you’ve interrogated an idea, and you have a good grasp of it, you must ask the idea what makes it a great one. I would find so many times that my interrogation had resulted in a wonderful and interesting setting, but that I still hadn’t found the story. I had to keep asking myself, "But where is the story?"

A story is when something happens to someone. Things change. People evolve. Events have consequences. Quite often heroes win and villains lose. Not everyone lives happily ever after. People have feelings. They fall in and out of love. They go on adventures. They hope. They fear. They brave their fears. They face their demons. Or they are consumed by those fears.

In 2016 I resolved to write 366 short stories, one for every day of the leap year. I failed miserably at that, but came out the other end with 11 self-published stories, dozens of almost complete drafts, and hundreds of partially developed stories. It was a great writing year, and it was so great because every single day I was working on a new idea, from scratch. Sometimes the lure of previous stories would be too strong to resist, and that wasn’t necessarily a bad thing. But the point of the exercise had been to practise writing short stories, and I succeeded in doing that 366 times.

Use my 366 story seeds from 2016 to practise building stories with. Use the 366 story seeds however works best for you. There are some suggested methods in the next section. Writing is YOUR thing, so do it in a way that works for YOU.

As long as you write, you win.


How to use this book [Back to top]



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(Pages 1-25 show above.)