Story Starters Keep Your Story Ideas from Going Stale

Marylee MacDonald is the author of MONTPELIER TOMORROW, a novel about caregiving and ALS. Her short story collection, BONDS OF LOVE & BLOOD, was a finalist in the Foreword Reviews' INDIEFAB Awards. Her fiction has won Gold and Silver Medals from Readers' Favorites International Book Awards, the Barry Hannah Prize, the Ron Rash Award, and many others.

Story-starters are the key to a writer’s long-term success, but what are story starters and how can you turn them into actual stories? Essentially, story starters are the notebooks writers keep about the things they observe in the world. These journals don’t gaze at the writer’s navel. They’re other-centered, outward looking, and curious about all the multitudinous ways people live their lives.

If you haven’t discovered the power of recording your regular observations of life, then give it a try. Notebooks help you write from your highest and best self.

Dostoievsky's Diary

This two-volume, boxed set contains Dostoievsky’s DIARY, an account of what was happening in the outer world. Through his observations about others and about himself, readers gain a greater understand of Russia and its impact on his psyche.

Following In An Old Tradition

Famous writers like Virginia Woolf and Mark Twain kept writing notebooks. The Complete Notebooks of Henry James provide insight into how he trained himself to observe the world. However, even among these literary treasures, Dostoievsky’s voluminous A Writer’s Diary stands out. Here’s what the boxed-set’s cover says:

The Diary of Dostoievsky…is on of the major works of the nineteenth century, the intimate self-revelation of a man of genius, a treasure-house of anecdote, reminiscence, criticism, short stories and sketches by a master. This enormous chronicle was begun in 1873 as a series of articles for The Citizen and later continued as a separate publication. It covers the year 1873; there is then a gap of two years and the Diary is resumed throughout 1876 and 1877, when it was interrupted by work on The Brothers Karamazov. It is resumed once more for the month of August, 1880, and again for the month of January, 1881, a few weeks before Dostoievsky’s death.

The Diary is an extraordinary conglomeration