Monday Motivations/The ABC Of Short Story Ideas Part Eight

Now it’s getting tricky…here’s V, W and X:

V is for Victory: The victory in your short story could be a big one – a country taking victory in a hard fought war. You could take a particular character in the war, perhaps a soldier and tell the story through his eyes. Or your main character could be a family member waiting for news at home. How was the experience for her? 

Alternatively, the victory could be a personal one – winning the battle against a life-threatening illness. You could write the story through the sufferer’s eyes or that of mother, who’s willing to do anything as long as her child lives. Another idea is for a victim to show up his bully and gain a small victory.

The victory could be a sporting one – e.g. a boxer winning his bout. You could add some tension to the story. He may have won his fight but perhaps he’d promised his wife he’d never fight again. What will happen when she confronts him? Was he being blackmailed and had to, or is there another reason?

W is for Water: A story about water could be centred around the sea. Your character could swim too far. What happens when he struggles to get back to shore? You could write a story in the fantasy genre, with the setting of your story focusing on what’s beneath the sea with mermaids and all sorts of mystical beings taking centre stage.

Your story could take place on a canal and feature an idyllic barge trip, which doesn’t stay idyllic for long. When there are some strange noises just after dark, do your characters investigate? What could those noises relate to? Or your characters could overhear an argument, on another barge, where a man is threatening a woman. When there’s a scream in the night, what do they do? 

In the ideas above, there’s plenty of water. What about if there’s a water shortage? Your character could be on the holiday of a lifetime in a beautiful foreign country but find herself stranded when her car breaks down. The heat rises and so does her mounting hysteria. Or your story could take place in a third world country, where water shortage is a huge problem. Your character could be part of an aid programme but what happens when she finds herself up against corruption and illegal activities?

X is for X-ray: An exciting story could centre around an airport x-ray machine. What does the machine reveal? Is a criminal trying to sneak something out of/into the country? Or perhaps your story is about the staff member who operates the machine and the sights she’s seen.

The main character in your story could be hanging around a hospital ward, in agony, waiting to see if his dreams of being a famous footballer are going to be shattered. Conversely, your character could be excited about the results of his x-ray, which show serious damage to his fingers. His mother may have been forcing him to play the piano and now he can’t.

Finally, what about x-ray vision? Yes, a superhero with x-ray vision has been done before, but think outside the box. Your character doesn’t have to be a superhero. Your character could be a ‘Mr Bean’ type character. Imagine the scenarios he would get himself into with x-ray vision!

I hope I’ve given you plenty to think about this week. Happy writing 🙂



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4 Responses to Monday Motivations/The ABC Of Short Story Ideas Part Eight

  1. Steve says:

    Coincidence, just before I logged on my computer I was reading Sue Grafton’s “W is for Wasted”, and I was thinking ‘what will she title her last three alphabetically titled books when she faces X, Y, and Z. Hope she reads your wonderful blog!

  2. mihrank says:

    yes – V for victory – that brings us a new fresh day to accomplish with success!

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