Day 28: Character, Setting, Situation

(Day 28) Character, Setting, Situation

Today I want to talk to you about something that was a real game changer for me.

I used to have this problem. I’d get a good idea and I’d start to write it and the whole time I was working on that story, I had this sick feeling in the pit of my stomach that I was never, ever, ever going to have another good idea again.


That’s a lot of stress to work under. Of course, I always did get another good idea. Usually it came just as I was hitting Act II of the story I was working on at the time. But the fear that I was played out was always with me, on some level.

Until I did this one thing.

I started keeping three lists.

One list of characters, one list of settings, and one list of situations.

That’s it.

When I want or need an idea, I just sort of stir things around, pick one from each list, and see what comes up. Then I work through the four steps of How to Develop + Test a Story Idea, and add the idea to my stable. It feels awesome having those stories in a notebook, just waiting for me to write them.


Start your three lists. You probably already have at least a few characters, settings, and situations swimming around in your head. Don’t worry today about how they’ll come together. Just get them down. And if you haven’t already signed up for H2DSI, do that. (It’s free!) Come on over to Facebook today and share one character, one setting, and one situation with us, if you want to.

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