Bob Boone

Writing Ideas


January 2014


* Here is a plot summary for a certain kind of travel story:
“Julie’s trip to her father’s hometown taught her to be more

Expand this into a first-person short story with a beginning, middle,
and end. Here are a few questions to get you started:
1) Where does Julie live?
2) What kind of kid is she?
3) In what parts of her life is she not careful enough?
4) Why is her family taking a trip top her dad’s hometown?
5) How is this place different from her town?
6) What family things do they do?
7) What bad situation does Julie find herself in?
8) How was this her fault?
9) How does she manage to avoid something serious happening?
10) How will this affect her future trips to her dad’s hometown?


* Here is another plot summary.
“Jeff travels to the most dangerous neighborhood in the city to obtain
something he must have.”

Start this in the middle and use a flashback to fill in the essentials.
Here are a few questions.
1) What does Jeff look like?
2) Where does he live?
3) What’s his reputation? How has he earned it?
4) Why is the most dangerous part of the city so dangerous?
5) What’s there that Jeff must have?
6) What if he fails?
7) What’s his plan for success?
8) How does his venture begin?
9) What huge problems does he face?
10) How does he succeed?
11) How is his life changed by this quest?


*One more plot summary.
“The senior trip to Washington DC turns into a fiasco.”

Write this from a student’s point of view. Here are a few starter
questions: 1) Who’s in charge?
2) Why is this person qualified?
3) What goes wrong on the trip to the White House?
4) What goes wrong at the Smithsonian Museum of American History?
5) Who gets lost at the Capital?
6) Who gets in trouble with the people at the hotel?
7) What happens at the final meal?
8) What happens on the bus to the airport?
9) What happens on the flight home?
10) What does the head of the trip say in his letter to the students?


One final plot summary......
“Your utterly ordinary business trip to a place you have never visited
turns out to be not so ordinary.”

Write this as a letter to a friend after you’ve returned home. Here
are a few questions.
1) What is the purpose of the trip?
2) What is the reputation of the town you will be visiting?
3) How are you surprised right away?
4) What is so odd about the hotel?
5) What does a stranger on the street ask you?
6) What happens at breakfast?
7) What’s playing at the movie theater?
8) How does your meeting get off to a bad start?
9) How does it end in a peculiar way?
10) Why was your departure not so smooth?


Describe a successful trip. Things were even better than you expected.
You will always have this as a great memory. Here are a few questions.
1) Where did you go?
2) Who planned the trip?
3) What were you hoping for?
4) Did you have any doubts? What were they?
5) What was the plan?
6) What was a highlight?
7) Another highlight?
8) Another highlight?
9) Any problems?
10. How did others enjoy it?



Tell the reader what he/she must do to understand your neighborhood or a
place that you know well. Remember that the reader has never been there.
What are the obvious places to point out? The not-so-obvious places?
What has historical significance? What does everyone like? What do you




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