Monday, 11 March 2019

How to get a Chapter Book Idea and Have Fun Doing It by Debbie Dadey #ChaBooCha


For those of you still struggling with ideas for your chapter book, here is another post on generating chapter book ideas. This one is by Debbie Dadey.

Image by mohamed_hassan on Pixabay

How to get a Chapter Book Idea and Have Fun Doing It

Sometimes ideas for stories come unbidden to me when I’m living my life, reading another book, or visiting a school. Sometimes, getting an idea takes more work. If ideas are difficult for you (or developing your current idea is tricky), you might like to consider some of these options:

·        Listing: Pick a random word and write down everything you can think of about that word in a list. This is an easy strategy, but it’s important to do it fast and have fun. Try for a list of at least fifty. If you write quickly, you don’t give your inner critic (yes, we all have one) a chance to say “don’t write that!” If you need something to get you going try one of these: what kids care about, brave things kids do, or things worth praying about. Once you’ve finished your list, look for clusters of words that seem to go together. Do they interest you? If so, you may have the start of an outline for a story!

·        Forced Relationships: If you know anything about me, it’s probably that my first book, Vampires Don’t Wear Polka Dots, turned into a series of over 51 books, with two spin off series. All of that came from taking two unrelated things and squishing (technical term) them together in a story. The Adventures of the Bailey School Kids series is filled with juxtapositions like Santa Claus and mopping floors; Dracula and rock music; leprechauns and basketball. One fun way to get started with forced relationships is to take a book or a dictionary and open it to a random page. Slam your finger down on a word. Then do the same thing again. See if you can come up with an idea from those two words!

·        Pictures: Take a random photograph (online or even an ancestor) and wonder about the person or persons in it. What problems were they facing on the day that photo was taken? Why were they frowning? What were they going to do immediately after the photograph was taken? Let your mind wonder until you come upon a problem (because every story must have one) that won’t let you forget about it. That’s your story idea!

If you’d like more approaches for generating ideas, I hope you’ll check out my free Facebook Live video series. My first one was about getting ideas! I’ll have more in the upcoming months on the seventh at 1:00. You can visit me at debbiedadey.comTwitter.com/debbiedadey, or Facebook.com/debbiedadey to let me know how the above stratagems worked for you.

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Debbie Dadey is a multi-published author who co-authored the Bailey School Kids and many other series together with Marcia Thornton Jones. Their latest project had them delving into how to get ideas. Writing for Kids: The Ultimate Guide is now available on Amazon Kindle. Debbie's newest solo project is Fairy Chase, the eighteenth book in the Mermaid Tales series from Simon and Schuster. Visit her at debbiedadey.com, Twitter.com/debbiedadey, or Facebook.com/debbiedadey 


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Give-away


Today's prize is the Novel Under Construction Journal. If you are a signed-up member of the challenge, all you need to do to be entered to win this prize is comment on this blog post. The winner will be chosen by a random number generator on March 31st and announced the same day.

12 comments:

  1. Thank you, Debbie, for sharing story ideas. They rarely come easily, but your suggestions definitely move them closer to the page.

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  2. This is why everyone should grab a copy of your book on writing!

    Great post!

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  3. I like the idea of picking random words and forcing them to work together - thanks!

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  4. Thanks for the listing strategy! Great idea to start a brainstorming session! Great post.

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  5. Hi, Debbie! I remember you discussing brainstorming tips at the MidSouth Conference. Thanks for sharing.

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  6. I love the Forced Relationships approach. I can imagine some fabulous absurdity! Thank you for these tips

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  7. I also love the idea of playing around w/ force relationships & finding ways to make sense of them. Although I'm not a comedic writer, I can still use this tip in other aspects. Thx! :)

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  8. Great tips from a chapter book legend! Thanks for sharing your wisdom, Debbie.

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  9. Fantastic tips - I love taking photos for my inspiration. Always good to go back and look at them when you are stuck.

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