Shaun used to call Carrie, “WC,” because he is evil.
No. Really. He called her that because she was always thinking up the worst case scenario for every situation and planned for that, which is not a particularly healthy way to live.
But. . . it’s a pretty good way to write. The ‘what if’ element of any situation in real life can be expanded into a story. Throw in a ‘what if’ coupled with a ‘worst case scenario’ into your story idea and you have really high stakes.
Like when Carrie wrote the Need series, she thought, “What is the worst thing that can happen to this girl forced to move to Maine from Charleston? Oh. How about her biological father is a pixie king who is kidnapping people to feed off them because he can’t control his hunger and need. Ah. That’s not bad enough. How about we throw in an impending apocalypse and she has to turn pixie to stop it?”
Story ideas can come from anywhere. Your own life. The news. Random stories of friends. Country music videos. But the story ideas that are heart-stopping are the ones where there’s a worst case scenario involved. Take a situation in your life and think, “Whoah, what if those people were cannibals?” or “Whoah, what if that cat was a secret Russian agent?”
Those ‘what if’ stories are the stories that make high stakes and high action.
Don’t be afraid of the worst case scenarios.
Dog Tip for Life
Expecting horrible things to happen isn’t healthy. Enough said. Eat bacon instead.
No, seriously, Ask Yourself This:
What do I need to change in order to get what I want? What do I have to change to make myself a better person? A more successful person? A person I want to be?
Writing Tip of the Pod
Making horrible things happen in your story is TOTALLY happy. Enough said. Extra tip: Bacon is not good for you nor is it good for pigs.
The music in this podcast is “Check Them In” by Ema Grace and her site is here. We’re able to use this amazing music, thanks to Ema’s kindness and the Creative Commons.
Carrie’s super excited about the upcoming TIME STOPPERS book coming out this August.
This middle grade fantasy series happens in Acadia National Park in Bar Harbor, Maine and it’s all about friendship and magic and kids saving their magical town.
For a complete round-up of Carrie’s 16-or-so books, check out her website. And if you like us, or our podcast, or just want to support a writer, please buy one of those books, or leave a review on a site like Amazon. Those reviews help. It’s all some weird marketing algorhthym from hell, basically.
OUR PODCAST DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE.
Thanks to all of you who keep listening to our weirdness as we talk about random thoughts, writing advice and life tips.
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Carrie offers solo writing coach services, but she’s also teaching a Write! Submit! Support!six-month class online via the Writing Barn in Austin. For details about that class, check out this link. For more about Carrie’s individual coaching, click here.