The way my mind works…

People often ask me how I get ideas for my stories, so I thought I’d share a prime example.

I just read this story five minutes ago: Iran hangs “Mossad agent” for scientist killing.

The headline pretty much tells the story. Iran arrested a guy who they think is an Israeli spy, and they claim he helped kill one of their nuclear scientists.

But as I read the story, all kinds of questions popped up. Such as…

  • What if he were CIA instead of Mossad? What were/are other CIA operatives doing to try to rescue him or retaliate?
  • What if you were Mossad working with this guy and you’re still in Iran? And you have no idea if he sold you out or not, but you know the border is locked down and Iranian teams are looking for you. Do you run from your hideout? Or risk staying there?
  • What if he were neither CIA nor Mossad? Just some innocent bloke caught up in some deep shit? (Insert hot woman with a very manipulative side here.)

You can see how a single news article gives me a half-dozen story ideas. And you can also see why I have started about thirty stories and finished less than five — I’m working to improve this average; believe me.

Stan R. Mitchell

Oak Ridge, Tenn.

P.S. Thanks to all who continue to make my first novel — well, sort of my first novel — a huge success! It’s gone as high as below 21,000 in its first two months. Please tell your friends about my book if you know they like Westerns or Action & Adventure books. As a reminder, you do not need a Kindle to buy my book. You can read it from your computer, laptop, ipad, phone, or other device with this free download. And you can buy my book here, for 99 cents. Read reviews of it here.

1 Comment

Filed under Writing tips

One response to “The way my mind works…

  1. Here’s a bonus. I typed this into a fellow blogger’s comments (Chuck Wendig) when he asked how/where folks get ideas. I wrote that I don’t have a secret. I just have weird thoughts occur from what should be normal situations.

    For instance, the other day, I was helping an intern, and as I stood over her shoulder to look at her computer monitor, I slightly stepped on her purse. I said, “Sorry,” reached down to move it over some, and it weighed a ton. And the cover was unclasped.

    Immediately, I imagined she had a pistol in there, was an undercover agent from a gov’t organization, and had been sent to kill me. Then my mind raced for the next three hours, took me out of the current situation, and imagined dozens of possibilities… Such as, what if my company was actually a mob organization? And she had no idea whether I knew there was a pistol in there… And from that, I had a crazy story idea that I DIDN’T want or need. (I’m trying to wrap up my next novel, and have my third novel 3/4 done; I really don’t need this shit enticing me like some half-clothed model in a bikini…)

    But it does, baby. It does, and it’s taken a pro like you, Chuck, to teach me to be disciplined, file that shit away, and finish what you’re working on.

    Like

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