On getting ideas for stories

New Release!

Story ideas can pop into your head from lots of places: from almost forgotten memories, from overheard conversations, from newspaper articles, from funny things you see people do, from history and even from the landscape itself. Or sometimes ideas can come from the wonderful world of WORDS.

I like playing a writing game/challenge that I call the DOUBLE TROUBLE WRITING CHALLENGE. In this game, you have to pick two nouns from a list of unlikely ‘room-mates’ – naming words that do not go together. Like:

GOLDFISH  ROOM
FROG  GUITAR
EARTHQUAKE FEATHER 
RIVER  BANANA

You get the idea? Now imagine the combination of two and ask yourself What if?

Before I wrote, Princess Clown, I chose two words from my DOUBLE TROUBLE list and asked, What if?

What if there was a princess who was different? What if she loved clowning and to make people laugh? What if she was the heir to the throne? What if she was in trouble because the last thing she wanted to be was a royal princess? What if her tricks went terribly wrong?

Lots of other people have recognised how clever words can be, especially when you combine them together. Famous musicians do it all the time. Here are some of the most well known names of rock bands words that are ‘unlikely room-mates’.

GUNS ‘N ROSES
LED ZEPPELIN
STONE ROSES
GREEN DAY
COLDPLAY (well, it could be 2 words)
PEARL JAM

Princess Clown is available from Blake Publishing, (ISBN 9781741646481)
And from educational supply retail outlets nationally.
It could be in your school library now.

P.S. Want an extra challenge? Try three words from my short DOUBLE TROUBLE word list! Then it will be TRIPLE TROUBLE 🙂

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About sherylgwyther4kids

I'm an Australian author writing for young people.
This entry was posted in On writing and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to On getting ideas for stories

  1. Sheryl,
    Fascinating post.
    And the wonderful juxtaposition of Princess Clown all makes sense now.
    Had never thought about Led Zeppelin before in that way.
    Alison

  2. Tina C says:

    Hey Sheryl

    It is amazing just where ideas come from, and I was interested to see your double trouble list idea , its magic – thanks for sharing!

    Bye 4 now
    Tina

  3. Trish says:

    What a great post, Sheryl. I love your double trouble idea. I’ll try that.

    Your post caught my eye because I’ve just written about that subject on my blog. My inspirations come from photographs I take, and also from weird toys that I find in thrift shops.

  4. Wonderful idea, Sheryl. I’ll have to put my thinking cap on. Thanks for sharing. This is a lovely new blog for children you have going here. Joanna :))

  5. Great idea and it’s always nice to see princesses stepping out of their comfort zones!

  6. Hi Sheryl,
    I loved your Brainstorming technique… Double Trouble Game…Brilliant.
    Wishing you every success with your “Princess Clown” children’s book.
    Cheers, Karen :))

  7. katswhiskers says:

    You certainly put a new spin on some very common group names. Makes you stop and think again.

    I am of course intrigued to know what you’ve done with Fangas Fearbottom… 😉

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