Looking for a few examples for Session1.1? See my answers and comments below. 

Writing Exercise 1: You have probably kicked around a few ideas for a novel, screenplay or graphic novel in the past. LIST FIVE of these PAST STORY IDEAS that already live in your head somewhere. (If you don’t have old ideas, start listing new ones)

1) Parallel universe detective novel
2) Shakespeare High School YA lit
3) Female witch with male harem erotica
4) Backstage Broadway romance novel
5) Satiric non-fiction improv manual by a cult leader/guru guy

All of the above are story ideas that I’ve worked on or thought about extensively in the past.

Writing Exercise 2: Again! List FIVE MORE story ideas. If you’ve got more past story ideas, keep listing them. If not, start generating new ideas.

1) Mystery set in a mutant community in a remote location
2) Mile-high romance thriller about an air marshal mid-flight
3) Woman floating in the ocean, discovers a secret society on an island
4) Wayfinding historical romance in Polynesia
5) Back country park ranger just wants a quiet summer, but he’s haunted by his past, literally.

Three of these are new ideas, and two are old ideas that I had completely forgotten about until just now.

Writing Exercise 3: Great! No more old ideas. List FIVE more NEW story ideas. Go fast and let at least one or two of them be real bad.

1) Sailor on the USS blahblah develops superhuman powers that could win the war, but realizes he’s fighting for the wrong side.
2) Brain-craving zombie teen is almost as boy-crazy as she is hungry for brains.
3) Post-apocalyptic mall Santa travels the US trying to deliver one last gift.
4) Magical gardens are popping up all over the US and driving an organic food revolution with superpowers and everything
5) Mailman in the pony express gets lost in hostile territory, only to fall in love with the ways of the native people who take him in.

These are all new ideas. I’m not wild about any of them, and that last one is both problematic and just a straight rip-off of Dances with Wolves, but again, there are no bad ideas right now. 

Writing Exercise 4: If you’re having fun with this, no need to stop there. You’re welcome to keep spitting out story ideas of variable quality as long as you like. Go nuts. Or if you’re happy with your 15 ideas so far, you can call it a day.

1) A pair of modern-day evangelical Christian missionaries are shipwrecked on an island where a lost civilization of the descendants of actual worshipers of Jesus Christ are still living by the positive values he preached. 

2) The children’s television show host beloved by millions realizes that she is actually just the imaginary friend of one child who is quickly outgrowing her.

3) An octogenarian widower tries to follow the path of Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat, Pray, Love in the aftermath of his wife’s death. 

4) Ghost ships rise from the ocean floor for a very piratey Zombie apocalypse.

5) Parallel universe versions of a boring local man start showing up in his reality to ask if they can crash with him and hide out from their too-exciting lives. 

These are all new ideas. I kind of like some of them!