The Writer's Idea Thesaurus: An Interactive Guide for Developing Ideas for Novels and Short Stories

The Writer's Idea Thesaurus: An Interactive Guide for Developing Ideas for Novels and Short Stories

by Fred White

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Endless ideas at your fingertips, and at the turn of a page...

Need an idea for a short story or novel? Look no further than The Writer's Idea Thesaurus. It's far more than a collection of simple writing prompts. You'll find a vast treasury of story ideas inside, organized by subject, theme, and situation categories, and listed alphabetically for easy reference.

Author and award-winning writing instructor Fred White shows you how to build out and customize these ideas to create unique plots that reflect your personal storytelling sensibilities, making The Writer's Idea Thesaurus an invaluable tool for generating creative ideas and vanquishing writer's block--for good.

Inside you'll find:

   • 2,000 unique and dynamic story ideas perfect for novels and short stories of any genre or writing style
   • Twenty major idea categories, such as The Invasion of X, The Transformation of X into Y, Escape from X, The Curse of X, and more
   • Multiple situations that further refine the major categories, such as The Creation of Artificial Life, The Descent Into Madness, Love in the Workplace, The Journey to a Forgotten Realm, and more
   • Invaluable advice on how to customize each idea.
The Writer's Idea Thesaurus is an interactive story generator that opens the door to thousands of new story arcs and plotlines.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781599638249
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 09/05/2014
Sold by: Penguin Group
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 736,656
File size: 698 KB

About the Author

Fred White is a Professor of English Emeritus at Santa Clara University, where he taught courses in writing and literature for more than 30 years. He is the author of Where Do You Get Your Ideas?: A Writer's Guide to Transforming Notions into Narratives, The Daily Reader, The Daily Writer, and The Well-Crafted Argument (now in its 5th Edition). His essays, fiction, poetry, and plays have appeared in such periodicals as Arizona Quarterly, The Chronicle of Higher Education, The Emily Dickinson Journal, Rattle, The San Jose Mercury News, Southwest Review, and Writer's Digest.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1

Chapter 1 The Adventures of X 7

1 Adventures in an Alternate Universe or Reality

2 Aviation Adventures

3 Adventures of Defectors, Deserters, Mutineers

4 Adventures with Ghosts

5 Adventures in a Magical Land

6 Adventures of Mariners, Mountain Climbers, Spelunkers

7 Adventures of Rebels, Rogues, and Crazies

8 Adventures of Shape Changers

9 Adventures of Time Travelers

10 Adventures of Treasure Seekers

Chapter 2 The Clash or Competition Between X and Y 21

1 Athletic or Gaming Competition

2 Battlefield Clashes

3 Business-World Conflicts

4 Democracy vs. Dictatorship, Monarchy, or Theocracy

5 The Clash Between Industrialists, Environmentalists, and Nature Lovers

6 The Clash Between Lovers (Current or Former)

7 The Clash Between Gangs and Gangsters

8 Religious or Spiritual Conflicts

9 Science vs. Superstition

10 Superhero vs. Supervillain

Chapter 3 Confessions of X 37

1 Confessions of Artists, Authors, and Musicians

2 Confessions of Criminals

3 Confessions of the Dissatisfied

4 Confessions/Disclosures of Healthcare Workers

5 Confessions/Disclosures of Employees and Employers

6 Confessions of Lovers and Spouses

7 Confessions/Disclosures from the Military

8 Confessions/Disclosures from the Political World

9 Confessions of Religious Persons

10 Confessions of Traitors and Deceivers

Chapter 4 The Conquest of X 52

1 Conquering a Bad or Dangerous Habit

2 Conquering Intimidation

3 Conquering a Disease or Illness

4 Conquering Envy or Jealousy

5 Conquering a Phobia

6 Conquering Laziness or Loss of Ambition

7 Conquest of Reason Over Superstition

8 Military Conquest or Resistance

9 Conquest of Mind Over Matter

10 Conquering a Physical Disability

Chapter 5 Communicating with X 67

1 Communicating with an Animal or Insect

2 Communicating with the Sensory Impaired

3 Communicating with the Comatose or Hypnotized

4 Communicating with the Dead or Undead

5 Communicating with the Enemy

6 Communicating with an Estranged Friend or Relative

7 Communicating with Human Colonists and Aliens

8 Communicating with a Fugitive

9 Communicating with Oneself

10 Communicating with a Spiritual Entity

Chapter 6 The Curse or Prophecy of X 83

1 A Curse from the Depths

2 Ancient or Medieval Curses or Prophecies

3 Curses or Prophecies of the Conquered

4 Curses or Prophecies of Monsters or the Monstrous

5 A Curse or Prophecy from a Religious Artifact

6 Prophecies, Visions, and Hallucinations of the Drugged

7 Prophecies of the Hypnotized

8 Prophecies and Curses of Magicians and Clairvoyants

9 Prophecies, Curses, and Delusions of the Mentally Disabl

10 Prophecies and Incantations of Sorcerers

Chapter 7 Descent Into X 99

1 Descent into Confusion or Uncertainty

2 Descent into Despair

3 Descent or Trespass into a Danger Zone

4 Descent into Hades

5 Descent into Purgatory

6 Descent into Madness

7 Descent into Poverty and Squalor

8 Descent into the Subconscious

9 Descent into Subterranean Realms

10 Descent into Wonderland

Chapter 8 The Discovery or Creation of X 114

1 The Creation of Artificial Life

2 The Creation of Marvelous Machines

3 The Creation of Miracle Drugs

4 The Creation or Discovery of New Social Structures

5 The Discovery of Ancient Dwellings and Burial Sites

6 The Discovery of Exotic/Endangered Life Forms

7 The Discovery of Gateways to the Past

8 The Discovery or Invention of Magical Realities

9 The Discovery of New Worlds

10 Scientific and Technological Discoveries

Chapter 9 Escape From X 129

1 Escape from Abductors

2 Escape from an Abusive Parent, Spouse, or Partner

3 Escape from Slavery or Bondage

4 Escape from Death-Actual or Imminent

5 Escape from Divine Wrath

6 Escape from Incarceration

7 Escape from Self (from One's Own Demons)

8 Escape from Time Constraints

9 Escape from Wartime Conditions

10 Rescue from Being Lost or Marooned

Chapter 10 The Examination or Exploration of X 144

1 Examination of a Cold-Case File

2 Examination of a Cover-Up

3 Exploration of a Danger or Forbidden Zone

4 Exploration of a Ghost Town or Abandoned Dwelling

5 Investigation of Missing Persons, Animals, or Property

6 Exploration or Exploitation of Space

7 Exploration or Investigation of Unusual Phenomena

8 Examination of Strange Bodily Phenomena

9 Underwater Exploration or Exploitation

10 Wilderness Exploration or Exploitation

Chapter 14 The Growth of X 159

1 The Growth of an Artistic Movement

2 The Growth of Dangerous Entertainment

3 The Growth of Alternative Family Relationships

4 The Growth of an Outcast Individual or Group

5 The Growth of a Political Movement

6 The Growth of a Religious or Spiritual Movement

7 The Growth of a Romance

8 The Growth of a Social Custom or Movement

9 The Growth of a Special Individual

10 The Growth of Unusual Technologies and Industries

Chapter 12 The Invasion of X 175

1 Alien Invasion

2 Bacterial or Viral Invasion

3 Barbarian Invasion

4 Insect or Arachnid Invasion

5 Military or Paramilitary Invasion

6 Mutant Invasion

7 Mob Invasion

8 Invasion or Uprising of the Marginalized

9 Paranormal Invasion

10 Vermin Invasion

Chapter 13 Journey or Pilgrimage to X 189

1 Journey to an Ancestral Home

2 Journey to Another World

3 Journey into a Wasteland

4 Journey to a Forgotten or Neglected Place

5 Journey to a Magical Place

6 Journey in Search of One's Destiny

7 Journey to a Third-World Country

8 Journey into the Past or Future

9 Pilgrimage to a Sacred or Pagan Site

10 Pilgrimage to a War-Related Site

Chapter 14 Love Between X and Y 203

1 Forbidden Love

2 Love Between Mortals and Immortals

3 Love Between Performer and Director (or Another Performer)

4 Love Across Classes, Cultures, Ethnicities, Religions

5 Love Between Doctors, Other Health-Care Providers, and Patients

6 Love Between Friends, Rivals, and Enemies

7 Love Mix-Ups, Foul-Ups, and Missed Opportunities

8 Love in Strange or Exotic Places

9 Love in the Workplace

10 Young Love

Chapter 15 The Mystery of X 218

1 Mysterious Books, Packages, and Documents

2 Mysterious Buried or Hidden Objects

3 Mysterious Illnesses

4 Mysterious Messages

5 Missing-Persons Mysteries

6 Mysterious Phenomena

7 Mysterious Places

8 Mysterious Societies

9 The Mystery of Missing or Stolen Property

10 Mysterious Strangers

Chapter 16 The Rescue of X 233

1 Animal Rescue

2 Rescue of Cultural Artifacts

3 Rescue of Endangered Species

4 Rescue of Hostages

5 Rescue from Natural or Engineering Disasters

6 Rescue of Political Prisoners or Protesters

7 Rescue of Refugees

8 Rescue at Sea

9 Rescue from (or by) Alien or Supernatural Beings

10 Rescue of War Wounded

Chapter 17 The Search For X 248

1 The Search for Alien or Exotic Life

2 The Search for Artifacts, Manuscripts, or Relics

3 The Search for an Elixir

4 The Search for a Fugitive

5 The Search for Freedom, Simplicity, Self-Sufficiency

6 The Search for Identity or Roots

7 The Search for a Missing Person

8 The Search for Resolution

9 The Search for a Solution to a Health Crisis

10 The Search for a Weapon

Chapter 18 The Secret of X 263

1 Secrets of Animals

2 Ancestral Secrets

3 Family and Friends' Secrets

4 Letters from Secret Senders

5 Secret Missions or Callings

6 Secret Organizations

7 Secret Projects

8 Secret Rituals

9 Secrets of Lost Peoples and Places

10 Secrets of Youth and Old Age

Chapter 19 The Threat of X 278

1 The Threat of Contamination, Illness, or Infection

2 The Threat of Assault

3 The Threat of Economic Chaos or Collapse

4 The Threat of Blackmail, Extortion, or Bribery

5 The Threat of Family Instability

6 The Threat of Invasion or Insurrection

7 The Threat of Electronic or Mechanical Malfunction

8 The Threat of a Mental Breakdown

9 The Threat of Natural Disaster

10 The Threat of Social Upheaval

Chapter 20 The Transformation of X into Y 294

1 The Transformation of Addicts and Criminals

2 The Transformation of the Traumatized or Wounded

3 The Transformation of Amateurs or Beginners into Experts

4 The Transformation of Child into Adult (and Vice Versa)

5 The Transformation of Inanimate Objects into Living Creatures (and Vice Versa)

6 The Transformation of Losers into Winners (and Vice Versa)

7 The Transformation of Mortals into Immortals (and Vice Versa)

8 The Transformation of People into Monsters (and Vice Versa)

9 The Transformation of Sinners into Saints (and Vice Versa)

10 The Transformation of the Wild or Feral into the Domesticated (and Vice Versa)

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