Plotting in Reverse
My last essay on the idea topic comes from something that works well for me but it is a bit off-the-wall.
I write a series of fantasy detective novellas under The Housetrap Chronicles. Seven published so far including two collections.
First I come up with a title, usually a mash-up of a well-known mystery story. My first title I mangled was based on Agatha Christie’s “The Mousetrap.” That is where I came up with “Housetrap.” Once I have the title, I create a plot and write a story that will fit the title and has no bearing on the original title at all. My detective is set in a world of elves and goblins and mongrels and whatever else I throw into the mix. Someday the kitchen sink will make an appearance.
To give you examples of some of the other titles in the series: “Dial M for Mudder,” or “The Hounds of Basalt Ville,” or “Murder in the Rouge Mort,” or “The Treasure of Sarah Madder.” You get the idea.
I have a lot of fun writing these things and they give me a break from being serious. The only time I ran into a problem, is once after I came up with a plot the normal way and discovered I had a terrible time finding a title to fit.
Anyway, the bottom line is, a writer can find an idea for a story anywhere. Just grab it and run with it!
The Dark Lady Trilogy (Volume 1,2,3)
The Queen’s Pawn (Volume 1)
The Housetrap Chronicles (Volume 1 to 7)
Alex in Wanderland,