Thursday, May 18, 2017

Orphans Found More Often in Written Word than the Real World


By Doyne Phillips, Managing Editor for Southern Writers Magazine


In need of some fresh ideas for a short story I Googled “short story ideas” and came up with 10 Short Story Ideas by Joe Bunting. It was an interesting piece with a list of 10 great ideas as well as some behind the scene facts and explanations. First I will share Joe’s ideas then look closely into the one I found most interesting. Here they are 1 through 10:


1. Tell the story of a scar, whether a physical scar or emotional one.

2. Your character discovers a dead body OR witnesses a death.

3. Your character is orphaned.

4. Your character discovers a ghost.

5. Your character’s relationship ends.

6. Your character’s deepest fear is holding his or her relationship OR career back.

7. A character living in poverty comes into an unexpected fortune.

8. A character unexpectedly bumps into his or her soul mate, literally.

9. Your character is on a journey. However, they are interrupted by a natural disaster OR an accident.

10. Your character runs into the path of a monster.

On each idea Joe Bunting goes into details and examples. The one that interested me the most was, 3.
Your character is orphaned. I suppose coming from a strong family background with no orphans in the family I was always intrigued and frightened by the thought of being an orphan. Thankfully it turns out well for many but the idea has been the story line of many tales. Bunting pointed out the following characters were all orphans: Harry Potter, Superman, Cosette from Les Miserables, Bambi, David Copperfield, Frodo Baggins, Tom Sawyer, Santiago from The Alchemist, Arya Stark, and Ram Mohammed Thomas from Slumdog Millionaire.

Bunting went on to say, “Writers love orphans, and statistically they appear in stories far more often than in the world. Orphans are uniquely vulnerable, and as such, they have the most potential for growth. It’s time for you to write a story about one. 

Each of Bunting’s ideas is interesting and he adds a great deal of insight with each. I hope you will search out his article and spend time with it. It will be worth your while.

  


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