It seems like some authors pull from a bottomless well of story ideas and others, well, it is a shallow and finicky spring. How do some authors generate so many ideas they woefully declare they'll never write them all?
Jesper and Autumn dive into ways of generating story ideas in this episode full of tips, practical advice, and even a few really good ideas!
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Read the full transcript below. (Please note that it's automatically generated and while the AI is super cool, it isn't perfect. There may be misspellings or incorrect words on occasion).
You're listening to The Am Writing Fantasy Podcast in today's publishing landscape. You can reach fans all over the world. Query letters are a thing of the past. You don't even need a literary agent. There is nothing standing in the way of making a living from WRITING Join two best selling authors who have self published more than 20 books between them now onto the show with your hosts. Autumn Birt and Jesper Schmidt
Hello. I am. Jesper.
And I am Autumn.
This is episode 80 of The Am Writing Fantasy Podcast Story Ideas some of the questions I often ask. Ah, how do I get Ideas? How do I turn the idea into something which can serve as a starting point for my novel? And how do I know if my idea is good enough? And I, I cannot promise that will answer all of those in full here now, but we will definitely try to tackle this topic about story ideas as best as we can. Yes.
Jesper (1m 3s):
I think some of those could be a topic and a half fall on their own. But if this is a fun one, I'm looking forward to this one because I'm definitely one of those people who I can almost always come up with an idea. So this will be a fun one to get to share some of that with people you have five. And I think about it it's Episode 88. Isn't that amazing? Exciting. It really is exciting. Seems it seems like we've just started this. It gets its been eight episodes, which is a special 80 weeks that Oh my God.
Jesper (1m 37s):
Yes. Now I feel old. I know I can't even, I can't even make the math on that. That's incredible. Well, yeah, I was gonna say, I could look up. I thought I knew how many weeks in a year pull. This is not worry about this stuff. We're not here for math. We're here to write notes to that, but we are getting closer to a hundred episodes. So I'm thinking we should do something special there. Maybe, maybe we could ask listeners' if they had any good ideas, if they do it in a place, the link in the shownotes where people can email us from.
Jesper (2m 11s):
And then the, if they have some good ideas about what they would like us to do four Episode number a hundred and then they can send us an email and give us some ideas. I think it should be something special. I think so too. And I think that's a fantastic idea to get some feedback, phone listeners, what they like to see it as a special 100th episode. It's only 20 episodes away. It is. Yes, indeed. And a, I was started thinking that maybe we could do it like a ask us anything you want Episode so that there could be an idea.
Jesper (2m 45s):
There could be an Idea. So that'd be again, if something to ask where you do it, if the listeners, if that's what you want you to have to be sending it in your, your questions. So that sounds good. Yeah, indeed. That's also why I want to get started a bit early on it here, because if that is what we are to do,
Autumn (3m 0s):
We need to build up enough questions. So if we need to remind people on going for a while to, to send us questions. So that's, but I dunno if, if that's something people want to do and maybe somebody will have a better idea, but yeah, like we'll put a link, have the show notes from where you can email it to us and then let us know if you have any good ideas or you can also just let us know. If you think ask us anything is a good idea as well, then that would be, that would be interesting. And you could here about the time where I had to put my hands on a fiber optic cable full of power.
Autumn (3m 38s):
Not knowing if it would kill me or not. So that's right. That's something you could ask me about it in that episode if you want. And I can tell you the story. Yeah,
Jesper (3m 46s):
That sounds interesting. I can certainly tell. So all of my stories of living on the road in an SUV while traveling across the country. So there's lots of stories I think we can share. I am curious about your fiber optic cable myself now. Obviously I'm still alive. So that's a good sign.
Autumn (4m 4s):
Yeah. That's a bit of a tell tale though is not a good story then, but well, I can tell the story if, if somebody's since an email they're and says we would like a QA and then yeah. Tell me to tell the story and I will, so you can ask us anything. That's an idea. I don't know if it's going to fly or not, but yeah. Let us know. At least
Jesper (4m 26s):
Sounds good. So otherwise, how are things on your side of the Atlantic? Well, it's a actually pretty
Autumn (4m 34s):
Good, good. I would say a, at the point of this recording, of course a we have pre-recording a bit, we really are trying to build up. The really Reese have enough Episode so that we have enough episode's in the bank before we go on summer holidays. So that means that we are right now recording in the beginning of June, even though you're going to listen to it later. And I said that because what I'm about to say, doesn't really make it be, makes sense when your listening to the, to do it in July. So, but I actually went to the cinema all over the weekend.
Jesper (5m 6s):
Oh yeah. That was wow. You were yeah,
Autumn (5m 10s):
Yeah, yeah. That the cinemas here has opened after COVID-19 again. So it was a bit weird being out and about like that again, but at the same time, it also sort of felt just normal almost at least. I mean, there was no self service in here with the popcorn and in the cinema, there was also an empty chair between you and EVERY stranger. But other, other than that, then it felt quite normal on the empty chair as an introvert. I'm pretty happy with that anyway.
Autumn (5m 40s):
So that's kind of, that was fine with me.
Jesper (5m 43s):
It was, I think I usually aim for that anyway. So that's good. Yeah,
Autumn (5m 46s):
Exactly. So now you have forced MTTR. That was quite a lot
Jesper (5m 51s):
And that's fantastic. Well, that's actually really cool to have some kind of normalicy back in the world. So I'm hoping when this is released, the world is more normal than even that. Yeah,
Autumn (6m 2s):
Yeah. That, that was why I'm prefacing the timing because it maybe, maybe going to the cinema we'll be, be perfectly normal or the fingers crossed or when you listen to this book or maybe it won't, I don't know, but, but thinking of opening up, back up society as well, I also received an email from the national soccer association. Yeah,
Jesper (6m 23s):
Yeah. They weren't asking me.
Autumn (6m 25s):
Yeah. They were asking me about my availability to two referees the matches on the side of some of the cases. So they, yeah,
Jesper (6m 32s):
It was pretty exciting. Excellent. That's sounds really exciting and will be good. Give it to get out there again.
Autumn (6m 38s):
Yeah. I'm looking so much for, with it. I mean, of course there will be some COVID-19 restrictions, so you know, no handshakes and I'm not supposed to touch the ball and stuff like that. So there'll be some special things we need to be mindful about. But other than that, we are opening back up. So we allow me to start playing matches again. So, but I don't know if to hit the national association has been a bit too optimistic because they have basically told, so it's like, it's supposed to start playing matches from next week. And then just two weeks following that and then just some of the vacation.
Autumn (7m 10s):
Yeah. So three weeks of matches and they have set to every single club that you can play three matches within those three weeks. So of course, because there's been locked down for so long, almost every single club will want to play three matches. There are going to be, I mean, I, I dunno if they are too ambitious, but that demand on referees will go through the roof in these three week. I mean, everybody needs a raffle of a sudden, Oh, I think I'm going to, I'm going to wrap up.
Jesper (7m 40s):
Do you look at your exercise in it? For sure. Yeah. Yeah.
Autumn (7m 43s):
And I'm probably going to be saw it when I, when I get to some of a case and I can't walk anymore. Yeah.
Jesper (7m 48s):
I feel like I need a hammock, some treaties. I'm good. Bring your drink. But how about you then? Oh, well the United States. So this is early June that were recording and it's just, I don't know where wearable will be in July. I don't, I really don't know. I have, for one of the first times in my life, I don't know what I'm watching and I can't believe this is happening in my country where I've grown up and spend so much of my life.
Jesper (8m 17s):
So it's a, it's a very uncertain and I always used to joke S half joke half seriously though, if things get bad, I was just going to go to Canada. But the borders closed because of COVID, but it is tough. Like my parents, I was really, I was so close. I had agreed with my mom that is going to wait for a strawberry season. Again, it, if you don't know much about me, if you're just listening in food is love. And my family it's been that way since as a little kid, but it's how my parents were telling my mom.
Jesper (8m 47s):
She goes, how much she loves you by cooking you so much, food is going to kill you, but it's so good. Good. So I had agreed. She has strawberries. I mean, like she lives in the burbs now We I grew up on 10 acres of my neighbors were Amish. We are in the countryside. We have this huge garden. And while my mom is still has the only guard and in the burbs and she cans like 30 something court's of tomatoes out of bed every summer, its hilarious. But she also had an amazing strawberry as, and I would agree that would come down during and strawberry season while it strawberry season.
Jesper (9m 18s):
And there's so big and she's Quik picking like four quarts of every other day. And we talked about in both, my parents are, are immune compromised. So I just finally said is an eight hour drive covert as a peaking back up in other States, I have to go through three or four States just to get there. It's eight hours. I got stopped for gas two or three times. I just don't want to be the cause of you getting sick or what's worse. Her sister is guilting her into like, Ohhh, you let your daughter come and stay where you want to come over for dinner because everyone wants to go to my mom's house.
Jesper (9m 54s):
It's an awesome Howell. She is an awesome cook. So these are a great host. So I'm like, Oh I can't deal with it. Guilt of every one then else, you know, twisting the screw is saying, I wanna come over. Cause you let your daughter come. So we regretfully said she'll free some strawberries and hopefully soon I'll make it down to Pennsylvania. But I'm thinking of 50th more important than it is
Narrator (10m 20s):
A week on the internet with The Am Writing Fantasy Podcast
Jesper (10m 26s):
So a huge shout out and thank you to James Brown who joined us on the Petro. Yes were so happy to welcome you. And if by the time you we're listening to this, you will have received your bookmark butt. As of today, let me just get your email, address it or your little actual physical address. And we'll be sending that out too. You probably tomorrow, you know, it really makes a difference for us in justifying the time that we've spent to report these podcasts episodes, which by the, we love recording these episodes for you, but is also a big, a time investment.
Jesper (10m 60s):
So few dollars or, or, or just a single dollar a month to show that you appreciate what we try to do for you here. And they get something out of it. That really means a lot too us. So thank you again, James, for you, our support. Absolutely. We were so happy to welcome you and why it's so funny that a, you know, it's just great to see a Patreon growing and the comments and the feedback that we get there. It's fun to spend time almost as much fun as the Am Writing Fantasy group, but naw, you know, there's a few more people in there too.
Jesper (11m 30s):
Yeah, yeah. I mean it's a growing thing, but the, if you are a deal list and I want to check out our patron patron Petro, and I dunno we are professional Podcast you know, apparently that's a link on the show notes, so we make it worth your while too. And we try to offer a whole range of exclusive Patrion benefits for you. As I said,
Autumn (11m 54s):
Go at least too, check it out for you.
Jesper (11m 56s):
Yes. I think it's sort of like tomatoes in tomatoes, you know, and we just have a different kinds of patron and, and other say you Pat, I think I said I had no idea. That's the fun thing about, you know, I, do you think that with characters and reading names? I think it's so funny. I get so one way stuck in my head, then I hear someone else say a characteristic I'm like, Ohh. Yeah, I guess she could say it that way too. So it doesn't really matter
Autumn (12m 24s):
Or something to do with U S versus U K. Yeah,
Jesper (12m 28s):
Probably Aye it took me forever when I was in the UK to get used to how they pronounce my name, my name over there because of the United States. Its Autumn but over there it's momentum and it sounds so awesome. Yeah. It's a totally different, they don't sell anything the same to me, but I did eventually start replying to my name. Yeah, I did. I mean, it's probably thought I was snotty at first because he never responded. Yeah.
Autumn (12m 54s):
Yeah. Well, yeah. Yeah. Well you can stop being selective than right now. I mean, tell me sometimes you want to reply. Depends on what they say.
Jesper (13m 1s):
And I am now officially half deaf. So I do have that ACE in my pocket if I feel like ignoring someone now my husband now, but it was gonna say I wanted to do a shout out to Mary van EVERY Brooke, who is, she has sent a lovely email saying how much she really enjoyed the podcast that we released recently on character development. So, or is it she's in the character development course, but she really enjoyed the 10 Traits of heroes podcasts. So, you know, However we hear from you.
Jesper (13m 33s):
That was just an Email. So it's so wonderful getting feedback. So, you know, but leaving reviews, leaving comments on the podcast, we do scan for those. So it's always wonderful to find a new review, to find a new comment and find out someone else's really enjoyed something we put out there. That's just, it again, it makes it feel worthwhile.
Autumn (14m 0s):
So Book ID. Yeah.
Jesper (14m 1s):
Yes. Yeah. This is a, this is interesting. It is. And there's so much, I mean we only like created an entire book about story ideas, so, you know, for sure.
Autumn (14m 13s):
Yes. Yeah. So it's a short, short, quick read. Yeah,
Jesper (14m 16s):
But that's OK. It's still worth the book because a lot of authors do a struggle coming up with ideas or sometimes you feel like you're ideas just, you know, they're not good enough, are they good enough? You're wondering if it's worth a whole story. So that's always a fun topic to explore and to talk about.
Autumn (14m 34s):
Yeah. And actually one of the first questions I wrote on my list here that I was thinking that we may be, could start out with and then the bass, a bit of what we think about it was the question goes like this is having a good idea and a necessity to write a good book. Ha
Jesper (14m 51s):
Mmm. It's so funny. It, you say that because on Patrick on this Tuesday, my, I do my Monday posts and I released to sort of reviews of recent movies and both are jam packed full of traditional stereotypical, even tropes. Right. And the one that was a horrible movie, even though it was a big name actors, it was actually called triple frontier was so typical. Have a paramilitary movie that I think I said, I don't think there even they took the character straight off of military men shelf and they don't even dust them off.
Jesper (15m 29s):
And with the other one, it was called a vast of Knight. And this is a micro budget debut show about typical alien Idea trope of all the way down to Roswell. And they don't actually know the big New Mexico. They had mentioned Roswell and forget the name of the town in New Mexico. Alien's 1950s, but all my gosh, he was spent tastic. It was so fresh. It made you tingle.
Jesper (15m 59s):
I mean, it was just, it was truly riveting, but again, it was such an, it was an almost every classic trip you can think of about a, a, an alien spaced UFO movie. So now I think you need something that is a hundred percent original. You can take something, you can take Cinderella and you can turn it into something amazing and special, but obviously you can also take sell the Cinderella in turn into something that's been seamed a million times before as these two movies.
Jesper (16m 31s):
Autumn (16m 33s):
Yeah. I don't even think I've watched any of those.
Jesper (16m 37s):
I don't recommend Trump all frontier a vast of night. It's on Amazon. It is so worth it. It's wonderful.
Autumn (16m 43s):
Oh, okay. Yeah. I don't have Amazon prime, but I need to get that one day. I at least, I mean, next year they're gonna release the M the new law of the rings stuff. I think it's next year on Amazon. So at that point I have no excuse. I just have to get it. Just have to get it
Jesper (17m 0s):
When you do go watch fascinate, because it is totally worth it, especially from a storytelling perspective where you take traditional tropes and you can turn it into something absolutely remarkable.
Autumn (17m 12s):
Yeah. I'd just started watching the last few days. I started watching Snowpiercer on Netflix. Oh really? Yeah. And, and that, because that is also a good example of it sort of common, common ideas that you've seen before. So it's basically, post-apocalyptic, you know, we have the classes fighting each other, you know, the poor versus the rich and they are fighting over resources and food and whatnot, but what they just did. And so they took all the common tropes here, but then they just created the setting as like a huge train.
Autumn (17m 47s):
So it's like an arch there's 1001 cops on the train and the tail end of the train is like this slump kind of way. Right. And the front end is the luxurious first time.
Jesper (18m 3s):
And then basically,
Autumn (18m 5s):
Oh, it's quite interesting. Actually it is it's I haven't watched a lot of it yet. Just like, I think three episodes or something, but it's quite interesting because the premise is the story idea is, is something, you know, is the same thing that you have seen a million times before, but just because they put it in a train, it's like,
Jesper (18m 22s):
This, this is new. And it's, it just feels quite a good,
Autumn (18m 25s):
Cool something you use to that is true. And this trend in just drive it around and around and around and around, and never stops because outsides it's like minus and 107 degrees. So if you go out and you can die, so it just keeps driving all the time, never stops sort of the day they can survive. Right. All right.
Jesper (18m 46s):
I saw the thing is there's a Book I think its based on it, but there was also a movie and I have seen the movie Snowpiercer and I sorta thought that there was part of it. I'm like, Oh, you know, from a practical perspective, how are they feeling this thing? But it is definitely, it was different. I will say that. And it really Aye, it had a place to go, but you're right. It was very typical class warfare. Post-apocalyptic survival, you know, elements or the hunger games are all in this, but it can be a fresh take.
Jesper (19m 19s):
So I think your answers are you answering you're own question that it doesn't have to be a a hundred percent out of a brand new idea for sure.
Autumn (19m 26s):
Yeah. Yeah. I guess, I guess I'm saying that as well, but I do think, I do think you need a strong idea. Yeah. I don't think that you can just take whatever thing off the shelf and then it'll make a great story. Yeah. You have to have a good idea. Umm, but the idea, I guess what I'm saying is to dad, do you can't be built off of things that we already know, every story you have already been told or, you know, I would challenge anybody to come up with an idea for a story that has never, ever been told before, because I don't think it's possible.
Autumn (20m 1s):
You will always be able to find some sort of story that has been told about this particular idea. But what I think mindset's about is how you bring that idea too life. You know how you tell it because as we've talked about before, if, if, if we right, a one sentence premise for a story with, by the way, I'm going to come back too, in this episode here about the premise. But if we write a one line premise for a story and you sit down and write it and I sit down a ride and we don't talk to each other in between at all, those two storeys will be completely different.
Autumn (20m 36s):
Now, even though they were still sparked from exactly the same or origin point. And, and I think the idea he is more it's about what you make of it. It's not about stressing about, I need to get like this unique idea that nobody ever thought about before because it's not going to happen. And I think a lot of authors are stressing themselves about, well, this idea is not original enough or I need to think of something else. And then you keep going around those circles. Okay. Instead of just trying to find out how can I build something that is different from what is seen before, but it still incorporates maybe, or maybe it's just a new version of something you've seen before that.
Autumn (21m 17s):
I don't think there's anything bad at that. I guess that's what I'm saying.
Jesper (21m 21s):
No, and I totally agree because its, you can take any stereotypical trope and if you layer on something unique, some aspect that maybe you've come up with maybe two different tropes that are, you know, vampire's in space or something different and really bring it to life with strong characters that feel like they are truly grounded in the world or the setting that you've created. Like Snowpiercer, if they believe it a hundred percent and you have these characters, readers want to follow the underlying Trump can be, you know, something, post-apocalyptic something spawn by something, you know, someone you've seen before that part is fine.
Jesper (22m 3s):
But yeah, it's what you do with it. From that point on that really makes it original and fresh. Not the truth just based on
Autumn (22m 12s):
Yeah, indeed. I'm going to take the young orphan trope. You know, the young orphan who goes off on greater ventures and data becomes the Hero who saves today. You know that that's basically both the premise of Harry Potter, but it's also the premise
Jesper (22m 26s):
Star Wars and those are two massively different stories. King Arthur. I mean, do we ever hear about his parents? Is he an orphan? I can't remember anymore. He's been so long, but if it's the same idea, it's the same ideas that, you know, it can be King Arthur, it could be star Wars. It can be Harry Potter. It's really, the story grows from there in the best ones are the things that are based on those characters and adding in those unique settings and twists and plots that are, that makes the story interesting.
Autumn (22m 59s):
Yeah. And I also think when it comes to the Idea I was thinking earlier today that it also have a lot to do with how enthusiastic you are about it yourself. Very because I mean, that's what we've talked about before writing a book it's yeah.
Jesper (23m 16s):
A lot of work. So,
Autumn (23m 19s):
And you don't really have a strong drive of a motivation that you really want to write this idea, but you sort of, let's say, let's say you've gone about at the other way around it. So basically you've investigated. OK. What are the sort of the most selling tropes with this young girl? You may be, you know, you've gone through Amazon category's or whatever and check what do all of these books have in common. Yeah.
Jesper (23m 41s):
And maybe I'll be smart about it and I'll be the marketing guy and I will out
Autumn (23m 46s):
Okay. If I just write decent these things, then apparently that looks like that's something that the market wasn't and quite honestly you might be lucky doing that. You might, you might be able to pick that up and actually hit something that the market want. Right. But the thing is that if the only reason you're doing that is to make some money and you don't really like Did. I mean, I could say if we had some sense in us, we should probably go and write romance. There's a lot more money in Rome. Yeah.
Jesper (24m 14s):
And there is always going to say it right now, magic Academy. And it seems like every Kover, you know, people are looking for there looking for a magic Academy and it's like, okay, this must be like a really popular genre right now because everyone's like talking about magical Academy covers. But I just thought that I thought of sitting down and writing a magical Academy Book Oh, I just couldn't do it.
Autumn (24m 42s):
But, but that's the thing, right? I mean, if you, if your not on Tuesday last week about it yourself, I bet you readers will pick that up too. The nails they'll pick up that they are not like they can't, S not like taking a seed on the words themselves or others in the sentences, all of the chapters, but they, they can feel whether it, whether or not, or at least this is my, this is me saying that they can have, of course I wanted to know, but I think people, people can sense if the author really loves what they did here, what they created versus somebody, I just wrote this because I had to pull out another book.
Autumn (25m 16s):
Yeah. I think those are different stare.
Jesper (25m 19s):
And so, and I think even as you know, maybe I would definitely, I think it's a surface. I enjoy life. I definitely like comfort. Those are my motivators. The idea of spending, you know, what, if I don't like it, I'm going to be grinding my teeth to get it done. I'm not going to be looking forward to writing. It's the idea of spending months or a year. If you're thinking of a full series writing something that I just am not in love with will be hard. I mean, I've had characters. I didn't really like that. Aye I could sit their and twist myself into thinking finally, you know, I could feel like when I snapped into place and I finally, it was on their point of view, but it took some real effort to really get into this character's head, oddly enough, it was a politician.
Jesper (26m 1s):
So I'd just not political, but in my life. So that was a very hard, I would never want to be an actor. I could not fit some characters, but it's definitely end even writing. Even if you had something you love, it's a story that you love. There is going to be days that you sit down to right going, Oh, do I have to do the seam? But that's, it's still the overall novel, the characters you love in some way, but to do it for a book that you're like, I'm just doing this to make money. And I mean, we just talked about that. So your selling a book for four 99 that you absolutely, but it was torturous to right.
Jesper (26m 36s):
It was just doesn't sound worth to me. But again, I enjoy my comfy couch and my hot T so that's what motivates me is the chocolate at the end of the day.
Autumn (26m 49s):
Yeah. I think that's fair, but I mean, I'm not trying to say either that, you know, you should have an idea that is so you are so enthusiastic about that every single day we just sit down too, right. You're just overly Join to, Oh, this is awesome. This is amazing. You know, it's not like either, you know, books is also a jar, so you will have days where this is not really dealing for me. I don't quite feel it today. And it's a bit of a, it's a, it's a bit of a job, you know, I just have to write this chapter is very and get it done in those days are there and then just, just pop into the game and you have to accept that.
Autumn (27m 27s):
So yeah. So don't get me wrong.
Jesper (27m 30s):
No, no that's yeah. That's what I was trying to say as well, is that there are going to be Daisy. And if you like the idea that you're not going to want to sit down or it's not going to flow well or whatever, but I, I don't know. I think readers possibly can tell and that you're struggling the entire time and you're going to struggle and its going to go slower. It's just not going to flow as well. And you might not have the passion for the characters. That's just not going to be as good, a novel as if you truly are inspired to write it at least, you know, a majority of the time.
Autumn (28m 3s):
Yeah. Yeah. I think that's fair. But maybe we should talk a bit about something that I also, well, I don't know, to be honest, if this is authors asking this or if it's a more like people who are not authorized, but I do hear this question quite a lot and it is where do ideas come from? How do you get your ideas for your books? I mean, I hear that over and over again, but now that I said it out loud, I'm not entirely sure if it's mostly people who do not right to ask those kind of questions, but I don't know if you have a gut feeling about right.
Jesper (28m 32s):
That I think I've heard it from both, especially new authors or struggling authors. And I had heard it from reader's as well saying how did you ever come up with that? So I've definitely heard it from both sides. So I think your gut is that's why it's your not sure who was from, because I think its from both
Autumn (28m 48s):
From both. Yeah. Okay. Fair. That's a tough question. Well, yeah, because well, as S you hinted at a bit early on, we actually, we are about to release a book on story ideas and how to basically develop initial ideas into the premise for Book. And we will have a link in the show notes where you can preorder that Book in the show notes, but a, Hey I'm just gonna tell you a little secrets and that they it's, if you buy the plumbing Book then they will be a link incite that one for where I can download this book.
Autumn (29m 28s):
Idea book on developing a story ideas for free. So in two weeks we're going to talk about the plotting book on the podcast and then we will give you the preop, the link for that one. So that's a way where you can get story Idea book for free. But yeah, I don't know which is stupid, but the, and if you don't want to wait for two weeks a for us to talk about that, then I'm going to go to Amazon and search file names and you will find that quite easily it's already there.
Autumn (29m 60s):
But why I said that it was because we actually wrote a short chapter in that book about how to get ideas Because and it was actually its a very short chapter then what the whole book is. If it's a very quick, a quick read, it is not very, it's an not a long book, but the point is just that, even though it is such a short chapter on how do you get ideas, it was actually hide quite hard to come up with something concrete for it because I think it's also very, very like basic, you know, it's just like we have stuff like, okay, what's the movies we books, listening to podcasts, go for walks.
Autumn (30m 41s):
But I think what it all comes down two at the end of it is about being open minded and observant of what's happening around me because there's a ton of ideas every single day. But you need to sort of open your mind to catch them. Yes.
Jesper (30m 57s):
I think that's a very good way of putting it. And I also think everyone has an entry point to an idea and maybe, maybe its going to be at a different one for every idea. But some people start with world idea or, or the plot Idea I know my entry point is almost always a character Idea Aye kind of come up with a character and the characters sells me. Then I've got to find a story for them or maybe they have one that's tagging along. That's always nice, but it's definitely, everyone's got to find, you've got to find what it is that gets your attention.
Jesper (31m 32s):
And sometimes, I mean, some of the things that are in the book, you know, it is being out there in getting sometimes the news story or something you heard and a conversation and it all comes together. I've jokingly said, you know, if you, especially, if you're a character oriented, like I am, if I sit down and I look at like this wooden table, my microphone's on, they start wondering about the tree and the would. And suddenly if you give your, the tree's outside some personality and what they've been seeing in this girl, you know, and then I'll have a kid story, but I do, but it all comes together for me.
Jesper (32m 6s):
It's the way you can, if you can put personality into a dust ball, you can probably come up with a story.
Autumn (32m 12s):
Yeah. It, but this is also my, I think it's a very well, there we'll be a lot of overlap between different people, but it's also very individual. I mean, for me it is usually scenes, you know, that's how I get Ideas. I, I just, it could be that I watched some movie. It could be that I am reading a book, but it could also be something that just sort of comes together in the back of my mind all of a sudden then, Oh, and then I'll have to write it down. We always have to write them down and often as well when I'm either just falling asleep or waking up, it happens often there.
Autumn (32m 47s):
So I have like a small notebook in my, a Knight drawer, which is just scribbled down to scenes when I get an idea, because then I won't forget about them later on because I really don't prescribe to, I have heard those saying that, well don't ever write down ideas because if it's good enough, you will remember it. And I do not believe in that at all. I always write everything down because there is a lot of good things in that book, an a, in my small, a small notebook there, an orphan, because I think in scenes it'll just be something cool.
Autumn (33m 19s):
You know, something, they think this is cool. Then I just write it down. It's a three lines or something. But then often what happens is that when I don't need to go into creating a story for it, often I can take several of these different scenes and they can all become part of the same story. And then it starts, let's say much together. And out of that comes, what is the overarching story? Really? So, but again, I think it's, it's very different from, for everybody how they think of ideas and how they come up with them.
Autumn (33m 51s):
But I mean, for me, it's, it's four for you. Autumn it's characters from me. It seems.
Jesper (33m 57s):
And then I, I, but I do agree with you that if I come up with an idea, I write it down. Most of mine or in like an idea of Scrivener file are stored on my Dropbox somewhere. But again, there are some really good ideas and you'd just never know how they are going to generate and grow up. And sometimes you can incorporate them into a book, your writing, or they'll inspire new things. Sometimes they just need that extra little spark. I know we are going to get there in the premise, but sometimes yeah, I gathering up all those ideas. You can crunch them all up into a ball that is just so totally awesome.
Autumn (34m 33s):
Yes, indeed. But maybe we should go to in and out. And the story, the premise that you mentioned Because, this is basically the way the heart of that small book that we wrote there, it is basically taking you from some initial ideas. However, you get those ideas and then develop them into what we call a Story premise. And that is also what we have named the foundation of your story. So it's basically like a single core statement that summarizes what this entire story is about.
Jesper (35m 6s):
Absolutely. And it's gotta be a little more in depth than good versus evil. Just don't warn people. I mean, you can start there, but you need a little bit more than that.
Autumn (35m 17s):
Yeah. That was exactly what I was going to mention because I mentioned Harry Potter up before. Right. And if the premise for Harry Potter, for example, was a boy discovers his magic abilities, then that would not be much to go on, simply not strong enough to carry a story. So what do we do? And what we'll talk about in idea of Book here is how you need five different pieces to build your premise. And I think what I could do is that I could just list out every week or five of them.
Autumn (35m 51s):
OK. And then maybe a year, maybe they will be fairly self explanatory, but maybe you could just add a few words to it, then automatically go for it. So five things, number one, a protagonist number two is a situation. Number three is a goal. Number four is a villain, a number five, a disaster. That's our formula. That is
Jesper (36m 14s):
It's pretty easy. And it does go. You just kind of combine those into two senses. But the reason that this works very well is that it gives you, you know, who your main character is, which so your not floundering around and going, who is the story about, and there are in a situation that they need to get out of and if they don't get out of it, there's going to be a disaster. So you were getting stakes by knowing your steaks. You know that there's a story, there is something there's going to be tension, there'll be plotting. So it's good to know your stakes. It also gives you your antagonist, which is wonderful because you know, who is going to be confronting your Hero your protagonist.
Jesper (36m 51s):
So you want to know that having that right in the front also gives you some ideas to Develop to start getting that tension and finding out how can you Thorte your hero? And of course, if it doesn't, if the hero doesn't win in the antagonist is the one who comes out on top, you have this ultimate disaster that the Hero is trying to stop. The villain's trying to create. And again, it sets you up for a very dynamic story. It builds up to your climax. So, you know, by going by this, you have almost three quarters of your book plotted in a sentence or too, and then you kinda, no, if you can't fill in those pieces, you know, you need to keep working on it, but if you can fill it in, you know, you can probably start plotting it.
Autumn (37m 37s):
Yeah. And maybe just to serve as an example, I'm thinking that maybe, maybe I could just pulled up the premise that we created for our entire series, basically. So maybe I could just to explain that a as an example, he is okay, this time, what we're talking about. So number one was the protagonist, right. But okay. Maybe, or maybe I'll just read out the entire premise that we wrote, then we can map it into number two or three, four or five, just so it, it becomes clear.
Autumn (38m 8s):
So it goes like this and magic use a census. He is magic is tainted by a dark force, but is also affect his sick love interest. And the Hero wants to save this person. However, the ruling dynasty is depending on the dark force and wants to stop him. And if successful will cost a Hero to experience magic becoming chaotic and destructive. So that was the premise for not book, but that entire series. Yeah. So you have a number one was the protectionist, that's the magic.
Autumn (38m 41s):
Usually there, we had that upfront and we had a situation that was the whole thing about magic getting tented. Yes. Then we had a goal and that was the, Hero wanting to save the love interest. We have a villain, that's the ruling dynasty that is dependent on the dark force and wants to stop the Hero. And then we have a number five and this Saster, which is basically a magic becoming chaotic and destructive.
Jesper (39m 10s):
So there you go. And from that, we're not getting just a book. We could do it. This is our series a theme. So we're kidding. Well, how are we going to have a lot at six, nine? You know, we're, we're, we're aiming for six. What we also have both said, do you know that ending ha problem of working with author's, as I said, I'm on my tombstone and will be the word's to be continued. I, you will never be done. Right?
Autumn (39m 39s):
Yeah. So, but basically as if I break it down, one more step just to make it very concrete. And I like concrete examples, as you know, but so once we have this overarching premise for the entire series and what we do is that we make a similar, basically the same premise where we break down this all work in one into law in this case six books. So we create a premise for each of the six books that all basically, what would you say close up into this overarching a series premise, but we don't really play out any detail except for the book that we are currently working on.
Autumn (40m 21s):
So when we're working on book one, we have the premise for a book one day and we detail out or plot out all the details related to that. And then for the Book two, three, four, five, six, we only have this high level premise. But what it does give us is that we have a clear compress as to where things are heading. And we know where Book six is the premise of book six. We know what it is. We know what's going to happen. We know nothing of the, detail's nothing about how its going to happen, but we know where we are heading. And it just makes things so much easier.
Autumn (40m 55s):
And of course you need to think a bit about these premises and make it interesting and make it not something you've seen a million times over before. But on the other hand, it is not that hard. I mean, I, I can't remember exactly how long it took us to do the six premises for the six books, but we probably be talking to a couple of hours now. Nothing. Yeah.
Jesper (41m 13s):
Yeah. I was going to say, I think it was in just one of our normal Monday sessions. The weed. Yeah.
Autumn (41m 18s):
Probably talk for two hours. No, we were done. Yeah,
Jesper (41m 20s):
Exactly. So it's not that hard. And by not plotting out all the other books, one, we're not wasting time when we could be writing, but that way we don't get too far off track. If we think it's going to go somewhere and I was just Story you come up with something really interesting and you want add that in later, but the books are already plotted. It just becomes such a nightmare. The further out you go, the harder it is to plot something that has yet to be developed in the beginning. So it was better to have that looser framework in the backend and the first book Ray to go.
Jesper (41m 51s):
And then as things happen, we take notes and we say, okay, this is going to happen in book two. Or remember that this happened in book three. So this is going to affect something down there because we have the premises we know sorta where things are going to fit in later. And that really helps, you know, keep things organized. And we were both having to like organization in Scrivener. So we keep our file even being clean. Yeah. But I dunno, sort of an over all the conclusion of this Episode can, can we conclude the, getting the perfect story idea is just overrated.
Jesper (42m 24s):
All of them. Do you think that's fair? I think that's fair. I don't think that you need, well, I would say the perfect or the most unique doesn't have to be something never seen before or something only you've come up with and you don't have to sit there and rattle and struggle and think about it for hours and hours. You can take a typical trip. You can take a dust bowl on the corner. And as long as you add something fresh in you and unique, give some twists, make it concrete with characters. It can be a wonderful story. It's how you write it as long as you're right.
Jesper (42m 55s):
It well, okay. So next week we will discuss how to plan and write out a serious, this will be a very interesting topic to tackle and as good add onto it. Yeah.
Narrator (43m 9s):
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