General Question

rawrgrr's avatar

I need to write a short story for an assignment and I need some crazy, creative ideas. Anyone have any?

Asked by rawrgrr (1556 points ) February 20th, 2010

I need to write a short story for school and I’m stuck. I have no idea what to write about and I’d love some ideas.

My story needs to have,

- There must be a quest
– The hero must have an adventure in the process of completing the quest
– There must be a message or lesson learned
– And there has to be a happy ending

I’m not asking anyone to do my assignment for me, I’m just looking for some creative ideas. Ahh i dont know what to do. I’d love some help! Thanks

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32 Answers

mammal's avatar

oh yes, but it could well be detrimental to your health

mammal's avatar

i mean, how much kick ass can you handle?

ChaosCross's avatar

A medieval man wakes up in a forest, he has the idea that he has to go somewhere to attend a certain event but he is unsure quite what.

Jumping,

Running,

Some fighting later he finds a door to outside of his test facility.

WHAT A TWIST!

Fred931's avatar

Do activities that will stimulate your head, like a whacky board game or just a bike ride, etc. If I were to give you the brilliant idea that I have in my head right now, then you would be plagiarizing off of me. This is YOUR assignment, not someone else’s.

PacificToast's avatar

Find a random word generator and use it until you get something you can build off of. Use vivid vocabulary, it always works when the paper isn’t amazing.

rawrgrr's avatar

@mammal Any amount ;)

@Fred931 Sorry but I was just asking for help from other Flutherites and I think this is what this site is really for. Helping others. Sorry if it’s a big deal to contribute a small idea.

6rant6's avatar

A Chinese American girl, adopted as an infant by Americans, goes to China to visit the city of her birth, and to look for the parents who gave her up. She ends up befriending a man old enough to be her father, but neither of them knows whether he is. In the end, they decide it’s better not to know… and….

6rant6's avatar

A coal miner, trapped by a cave-in grows weaker without water and food. Eventually, hallucinates a quest to build a castle without opening his eyes. When he is eventually rescued, they find the coal around him has been rearranged into walls which have kept the broken walls from collapsing on top of him.

rawrgrr's avatar

@6rant6 I like your adopted idea!

CyanoticWasp's avatar

You’re on a quest right here… a quest for a topic and theme. Write the shit out of that.

rawrgrr's avatar

@6rant6 Wait what’s the lesson learned?

@CyanoticWasp Haha I don’t think I’ll do that

Ltryptophan's avatar

Socrates gets reanimated somehow and socratic methods the shit out of the whole world…

Jeruba's avatar

That’s asking a lot. Your assignment, that is, not you. It’s one of the basic story structures and a very classic one. Trying to write a story that does all that and does it well is the task of a legion of writers and wannabes. Yet some children’s picture books accomplish it in a few hundred words and some massive tomes do not.

Choose a setting in time and space. Real world, here and now? Your city, your school, your household? Imaginary world, past time, realistic, magical, historic, future?

In that setting you have a character who needs or wants to get something or accomplish something. That’s the quest. Try “what if”? questions to get you there: what if a prince fell in love with a princess and her father wanted to test his worthiness before consenting to a wedding? what if a boy with no money but a passion for art wanted to see some of the world’s most beautiful paintings? what if a girl of the future needed to come back to the present to find the answer to a question that holds the key to her life’s mystery? what if a little puppy wished he could fly like a bird?

There are obstacles in the way of accomplishing that goal. What are they? Attacking them is the adventure.

In the process, the character grows somehow: discovers the meaning of friendship, or learns that kindness begets kindness, or finds out he has strengths he didn’t know he had, or learns that bullies are really cowards, or sees the cost of lying, or turns a weakness into a strength, or discovers “there’s no place like home,” or some other thing that you yourself have learned and can think of a way to illustrate dramatically in fiction.

Good luck.

CyanoticWasp's avatar

@rawrgrr why ever not? You have everything right in front of you… and no one will match it. You get points for originality and creativity, don’t you? And adventure… well, that’s where you find it. The happy ending is finishing the assignment, and the lesson will be whatever you find out from writing it.

I have the thing half done already.

MorenoMelissa1's avatar

I have a story that was sent to me. There is no villian but your welcome to have it if you want.

Merriment's avatar

How about instead of making it a grand quest of an epic type figure why not make it a seemingly grand quest of a insignificant figure, like, say, an ant.

jrpowell's avatar

Get kinda crazy. I usually did pretty well on these type of things because I did stuff that was odd and disturbing.

In this example I would go with:

There must be a quest—Getting out of the closet.
The hero must have an adventure in the process of completing the quest—The kid who was locked in the closet by his parents and manages to get out.
There must be a message or lesson learned—Don’t lock your kids in a closet.
And there has to be a happy ending—Kid manages to escape and the parents are arrested.

YARNLADY's avatar

The hero sets out to prove there is no such thing as a perpetual motion machine, and accidentally invents one.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

Try writing a quest story of a Medieval knight from the perspective of the knight’s horse.
It’s easy to incorporate humour in telling such a standard tale and still fulfil the assignment.

Kudos to @Jeruba again! Go ahead and blush!

PacificToast's avatar

Pirates! on their quest, they have an epic ninja battle, and when they find the secret at the end of the quest, it’s either really sappy, or completely random. It always helps to have a character that thinks checkers is an Olympic sport.

6rant6's avatar

@rawrgrr You really want me to give you the moral too?

Hm

How about…. the coalminer… even when things are blackest, giving up is not the answer.

The adopted girl…...

She: This is the genetic test. I swab your mouth, and take the swap home to the lab…

He: No I think this is a bad idea.

She: But it’s what you and I wanted. It’s what I came to China for.

He: No, you came to China to have a man say to you, “I am your father.” I am that man. I have said that. I worked in the orphanage all those years hoping to find the daughter I gave up so that I could say to an abandoned child, “I am sorry. I should never have given you up.” You are that daughter to me.

She: So… I’m not sure I found what I came looking for…

He: But you found what you needed. It’s time to stop looking, daughter.

She: Yes. You are right. It’s time to stop searching when you find what you need. Yes, Pappa, it’s time.

Blondesjon's avatar

Your hero should be a 7 year old on a quest to finish their broccoli they were served for dinner. The kid has been told that he cannot leave the table and watch his/her favorite television program until his/her plate is clean.

The adventure can be the myriad ways the child “fools” him/herself into believing each bite is something other than broccoli.

The lesson learned is that, by the last bite, the child realizes that the broccoli isn’t really all that bad and that trying new things can be fun and rewarding.

The happy ending is he/she not only discovers a taste for a vegetable that is good for him/her, he/she also gets done in time to watch their favorite television program.

Jeruba's avatar

My brother-in-law got his kids to eat broccoli by telling them it was “nacho trees.”

Dilettante's avatar

Do yourself a favor and get the book, “The Thirty-Six Dramatic Situations” by Georges Polti
I understand there’s a way to italicize book titles here; but I can’t figure out how to do it.

Jeruba's avatar

@Dilettante, you place an underscore immediately before and immediately after the title, thus:
<underscore>The Thirty-Six Dramatic Situations<underscore>
The Thirty-Six Dramatic Situations

Do you know how to supply a link? You can precede the first underscore with a quotation mark
“_<title>
and put one after it
<title>_”
followed by a colon
<title>_”:
and then add the link immediately after the colon, and you get this:
The Thirty-Six Dramatic Situations

The list of styling codes is here, and the basic ones are illustrated beneath the answer box.

elinoree's avatar

okay, try and do something that would be completely different too others – nothing classic, you need a new idea that hasnt been thought of before, which is easier said then done. how about..
a village has fallen sick of a disease, and a brave man goes on a quest too find the ingredients too make the potion too rid the village of this disease, He mus go too many places too receive many different ingredients, and he gets lazy and employs someone too do it for him. The man goes behinds his back and the story learned is..

sorry, a bit rubbish but i hope it helps.

Dilettante's avatar

@Jeruba Thank you so much. Will you marry me?

Jeruba's avatar

Awww <blush> Thanks, but I promised my husband I’d stop accepting new proposals.

rawrgrr's avatar

Thank you everybody for your great ideas. I’ve used some of them. Love it!

@CyanoticWasp It is a very good idea but I would have to stretch it to 4 pages long.

Jeruba's avatar

You have to do all that in 4 pages??

CyanoticWasp's avatar

@Jeruba it seems to have been done in a single page here. I would hardly call four pages much of a stretch nor would you, I think but some look at that blank paper as a monumental undertaking. (I do four pages before breakfast some days, at a rate of maybe 1 lurve per page.)

Pachy's avatar

You can get good ideas for writing assignments from others, and obviously, many of us here are willing to help. However, as a writer I feel compelled to suggest that part of being a writer is learning how to mine your own unique imagination and experience. It may not be easy at first, but it’s a necessary mission. No offense intended—just a little advice from someone who learned that a long time ago.

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