This plot generator is very similar to the Mix and Mesh writing prompt I discussed a couple of weeks ago. I call this one the Fairytale Cocktail. (Pretty catchy if you ask me.) One of my creative writing teachers turned me on to this method of brainstorming plots. And while I haven’t written a story using this method two of my writer friends use it frequently to create some fun stories.
The idea is simple. Pick a fairytale and transport it to a new time and location. Obviously, you want to change it up a bit and decide how the setting would affect how the story is told. Because of that it becomes a brand new story. For instance, what would happen if you took Hansel and Gretel and placed them in a wild west frontier town? Hank and Gertie might be captured by a mystic Indian medicine-man which will change the dynamics of the story immensely while still giving you a good starting place for the plot.
Something else you can do with this concept is change the characters in the story. I would still recommend making some slight setting changes as well, but what would happen if Little Red Riding Hood climbed up the beanstalk? And you don’t have to stick to fairytales either. Imagine Dennis the Menace taking a basket of goodies to his grandmother across town.
If you don’t write cutesy fairytales this method can still produce some useable starter material. Take the story of Sleeping Beauty and turn it into a dystopian, science-fiction nightmare. Wouldn’t that be a kick?
Despite the name I invented for this method don’t feel that you have to harvest fairytales as the base structure for your adapted story. Use a classic novel and make it your own. In fact, this is what I am going to do for my example.
Monsters on the Midway
Based loosely on Frankenstein this novel chronicles the story of a college football coach who is obsessed with creating the perfect football team. He introduces a new method of training the players that takes them beyond their normal limits and transforms them into machines of flesh and bone. Unfortunately, this training affects their lives outside the football stadium. Seeing his mistake he attempts to step-down as the team’s coach, but the team has other ideas about that. They begin a psychological terror campaign designed to keep the coach in place and continue their inhuman training.