How to Write: Idea Development

This clock illustrates my anticipation for my blog series “How to Write” coming in July.


Okay, so as most of you are now aware, I am planning on doing a fantastic series this July (and likely over several months!) on How to Write. It’s been asked, how to write…what? Well, I am a fiction novelist, so that is the bulk of it. But really, you can use the same tools to write anything.

I want to begin this series with an examination of the ultimate beginning. Yes, ideas. Before July, you my dear fan and follower must pull out the old idea notebook and pick one. Yeah, me too. It’s tough, I’ll tell you. I have an idea folder near to bursting. But I am going to pick one.  And that idea will go through development and refinement. Like…my idea is about (let’s pretend) a world famous chef who is out of a job when the five star restaurant goes out of business.

We have to get it down to a one liner….who is it about, what do they want, and what’s keeping them from getting it.

Okay, Mario, the chef, wants a job, but there are no fancy restaurants in this little town he is in.  There. A one-liner about the story idea.

Can you do that with your idea?


How about developing that idea? Mario Frenelli, Italian chef extraordinaire, has to leave his beloved New York to help his aging mother who lives in southern Mississippi. He needs a job, but this town wouldn’t know good cuisine if it bit them on the ear.

Now comes the refinement. How old is Mario? What is it in this town that will ultimately be his downfall? Is it a woman? Another chef? How can we make it even worse?

Just a few questions, but important to making our little story the best it can be. We need lots of complications. Lots of conflict.

ahhh!! I am getting excited about working on a story with you guys…my muse is already in overdrive. So, I hope this little exercise has done things for your idea too, and it is NOT too early to get going with it. When we start in July we will already have a great story to work on.

About master

Kim Smith is the author of the Shannon Wallace Mysteries, and the Mt. Moriah Series- plus, YA fantasy, and Bizarro fiction. All available on Amazon.

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