Feeling Out A Story (A Method for Ideas)

I was at work when I came up with an idea for a story. I spent the entire shift (8hrs) thinking and feeling through the story, I went through the character’s entire life from birth til present date. I felt his pain, his happiness, his anger, his determination, his pride, his honor.

I felt all of his motivations and dissected all his reasons for doing things, I created his friends, family, enemies, his psychology and his philosophy. In a sense, I became him. He felt so real and so palpable I almost believed for a second I had lived his life.

All his memories, all his idiosyncrasies, all his qualities and his flaws became mine throughout the course of the day. All the struggles that made him stronger made me feel the same way, all the pain he went through saddened me in the same way, all the guilt, shame, grief fucked me up the same way it did him.

By the time my shift was over I was mentally fatigued. I felt drained.

This is how I tend to come up with ideas for a story, I have to feel the character become real. To see this, in my mind, character born and grow up to become the person he was meant to be. To see all the people he meets, all the friends and enemies he makes, all the enemies that become friends and all the friends that become enemies.

Here’s the thing: even though I prefer to be story driven (action, adventure, world-building, etc.) but all my stories start from the character.

Now, I’m just telling you how I come up with an idea for a story. A really good idea.

Anything I come up with on a whim is lost almost immediately. The really good one’s make me feel them, feel the character, feel the range of emotions, feel them become real, and it sticks with me for weeks on end, and, sometimes, I may have already written some material regarding it and just have to expand on it.

So, how do you come up with a story? Comment below!

Alright, that’s my spiel. Til next week. . .

2 thoughts on “Feeling Out A Story (A Method for Ideas)

  1. Wow, that just shows that you’re into character-driven stories, which I think is the preferred style. I myself do more of plot-driven stories, because my settings are mostly sci-fi/fantasy, but I’m looking to do exactly what you’re doing, which is being in my character’s shoes. It’s hard work though.

    Loved this. Thanks for sharing, Josiah!


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