MacGyvering a Story Part I: Developing the Idea
On the TV show MacGyver, the title character comes up with creative solutions by picking things up along the way and making something with them. That’s the process for writing a story without using an outline.
It starts with letting the idea gel. I write a short summary of what I think the story will be about. Then I try another summary, and another, changing the story into different directions–whatever I think of. Most of the characters don’t have names at this point.
Then I’ll see a newspaper article, or a book, or go to the museum and BANG! The idea takes a sharp turn in an entirely different direction. Everything changes in an instant, becoming a different story than what I started with.
But what do I know about it? Only very broad aspects–the story will be set in X; the main character’s name is X; there’s going to be a fight on an island or a mountain. I don’t know any major events, who the bad guy is, or even most of the character names. Even the definition of the story itself hasn’t solidified yet.
For anyone who MacGyvers a story, what’s your process for developing the idea?
- Posted in: Thoughts