Mmmm, I knew it was coming – the Y and Z but it wasn’t easy to come up with short story themes; well, half decent ones anyway. I’m not sure you would appreciate ‘ yoyo’ or ‘zumba’ but you never know!
Y is for Yearn: What is your character yearning for? Is it a person? Perhaps he’s obsessed with a work colleague or a woman who lives down the road. What happens when he makes a move? Are his advances rejected or his feelings reciprocated? You could add an element of menace to your story with an obsession which has sinister consequences.
Your character could be yearning for something simpler – a job she likes instead of the drab, mundane job she currently has or she may be yearning for something out of the ordinary such as an exotic holiday. In the case of the former, she could be scared to try something different. Does she leave her boring job behind for something fresh and exciting? In the case of a holiday, your character may not be able to afford one. Does she go anyway? What are the repercussions? Maybe she agrees to something she shouldn’t and the holiday has nightmare consequences.
Z is for Zombie: Horror stories involving zombies have been around for sometime. They’re still very popular but try and come up with something different so your story stands out. What about adding humour? Think ‘Sean of the Dead’ and you’re there. After reading the same old type of zombie story, an editor will love a story which will make him smile. Do the zombies start dancing to YMCA whenever they hear the music? Or do they explode if hit by tomatoes? I’m sure you can come up with something far better, but you get the gist.
The idea of Zombie needn’t relate to a horror story but could be about someone who behaves like one i.e. is tired, moves slowly – perhaps a teenager! He could be lounging around after failing his exams and not want to do anything. His mother could take drastic action and throw him out the house. What does he do? Does she really mean it? Or your ‘zombie’ could be a lay-about husband who does nothing round the house and watches TV all day. What happens when his wife snaps?
Well, that’s it, my ABC of short story ideas is over. I hope you’ve enjoyed it. I’m revisiting all the letters in ‘My Weekly Writing Challenge’ so have a go!