Home > Inspiration for writing > Giving yourself ideas (and remembering them!)

Giving yourself ideas (and remembering them!)

September 30, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

Human BrainI expose myself to a lot of really good stories. I watch films, read books, read comics, watch TV series, listen to audio books, read the news, and hear a lot of really good ideas for stories in my roleplaying game.

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  1. Tigra
    September 30, 2011 at 1:34 pm

    When it comes to new ideas one of the things I have noticed is that the timing for getting new ideas to when you actually need them doesn’t always workout right. As a new adventure is starting I get three or four new ideas but if I’m working on just getting one right before it starts, I never get one. The thing is that is where the first rule of play by post playing comes in…regardless of being a host for a month or three decades we as the game managers are normally strong writers, not just in our games but in general. As strong writers most of us do write other things other than just for our games and as such most of the time do have a note pad or something (I guess now we can give the ok for just using a smart phone or iPad or another tablet) remember to use it as often as needed. Paper is cheap but great ideas live for a long time (the last mission I designed by myself was based on an idea I had back in 1993 while running the USS Omni and after all the years it sat around, it was a great mission).

    • September 30, 2011 at 5:30 pm

      Haha it’s great that you’ve been keeping the idea around for such a long time (18 years!). Whenever I try to write ideas down on paper I lose them, and if I save them digitally I put them somewhere I forget to look, and then accidentally delete it or lose it when I switch computers. The best thing I do right now is save it as a note on my phone, but know that it’ll be hard to transfer this off when I swap phones so might lose all my ideas again!

  2. September 30, 2011 at 5:20 pm

    I currently have a Google Wave set up (which I’ll move to Google Docs soon) for USS Providence story lines. Each story or idea is prefaced with the in-game date of the events, a title of the episode, and a status report of the story or idea (completed, in progress, planning, etc).

    This lets myself and my fellow GMs create story ideas and flesh them out in advance before we actually put them into play. This gives us the opportunity to make the stories fit into the universe of our game, perhaps even tying in each story with a larger arc or including details that lead us from one story to the next. We do our best to treat each sim plot as an episode of a TV show. This lets us write each story in a way that it helps move the season along.

    • September 30, 2011 at 5:27 pm

      Wow Josh that’s really quite some intense planning that you must do, I admire the effort you put into each plot! With the additional effort also comes added pressure, do you find that newbies get a bit nervous about ruining your ideas? I’ve noticed a big drop-off in new members at the times when we’ve taken it seriously, because they just feel like there’s too much pressure not to mess it all up!

      • September 30, 2011 at 6:43 pm

        Quite honestly, I haven’t noticed much pressure from new players about that. They know that I’ll keep a relatively close eye on how the story progresses. Veterans know how I run the game and can also lend a hand in letting newer members know how things work. They also know that I watch what happens and will sometimes change the expected outcome of a plot to match what the players ended up doing.

        The ultimate goal of my stories is to make people feel like they’re in an episode of a TV series. It has as realistic of a background as I can give them, and I try to make the world as alive to them as I can. It helps players to stay in character and treat their actions with more seriousness than most, lending to a more realistic game overall.

  3. September 30, 2011 at 5:36 pm

    I get ideas from songs, movies, books, or simply from associations of ideas while discussing with my members on yahoo. When they come with an idea, I come with another completing theirs, and so on, the story gets better and deeper…

    • September 30, 2011 at 5:48 pm

      That’s why I think creating stories with other people is so fun! I have a good imagination, but there are limits, and it’s great when someone thinks up an idea that I’d never have even dreamed of!

  4. October 12, 2011 at 7:10 pm

    The “writing them down” bit really is important. I forget so many ideas because I don’t write them down – its silly. Writing them down will also help you get started on the “acting on them” bit, as you’ll have to refine the idea into a coherent synopsis – the first phase of planning.

    I started started scifiideas.com to help me write down my ideas and share them with others. But so many don’t make it onto the website because I forget to write them down immediately.

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