Every now and then a short story contest comes along that has a tight deadline. Thus, if you don’t already have an idea in mind, you’re stuck. There’s one formula to come up with a story that is fun and can help you put something together quickly. It’s as easy as filling in the blanks.
This involves using the classic “What if?” premise: What if a ____ and a ____ went to _____ and ______.
The wackier your answers, the better and more original it will be. For practice, fill in the blanks based on your favorite sit-com or movie. You can sometimes get an idea rolling with no more than the “What if” portion. For example, the old sit-com ALF was based on “What if a space alien crashed into someone’s house and couldn’t leave because his ship was damaged?”