I frequently get asked how I find tales. Looking at your own life and the lessons you’ve had to learn the hard way is the quickest method to come up with a story. Embarrassing circumstances are excellent story-building opportunities. A Facebook group for speakers recently requested that we share an embarrassing story. I took a step farther and added the following to the moment rather than just sharing it:
A start, a middle, and a finish
For the main character, myself, there is a struggle
Information that would spice up the situation (humor, description, imaginary characters, sharing of random thoughts in my head)
Natural wording was used to make it approachable and conversational, preventing it from sounding overly staged and polished.
A lesson or point to the entire tale that I took away from it
I want to make sure to include some humorous lines and a general outline of the plot (the happy balance between memorizing and winging it)
I didn’t spend a lot of time on it or overthink it. Just enough background information to explain where I am and why certain details are important to the plot without adding too many more words or scenes. And this is the outcome of the procedure. I probably took an hour. It’s kind of my style. I hope you agree.
By the way, if you’re having difficulties coming up with stories, you might want to check out The Story Formula, one of my books.