Logline-test your story ideas until one fits the below format (from Save the Cat! Write a Novel) and sounds like a book you couldn’t put down. (Save the Cat! Writes a Novel is best the structure book I’ve ever read. You should buy it if you’re able. It has much more valuable information in it than this.)
On the verge of stasis = death moment, a flawed hero breaks into act two, but when the midpoint happens, they must learn the theme stated before all is lost.
An example from the novel I just finished is: On the verge of uncontrollably and randomly time traveling forever, an alcoholic, amnesiac time traveler crosses the universe in search of his true home. But once he finds it, he’ll have to give up the memory and home he’s searched for to stop the whole universe from burning.
Alright. Do it! Paste what you come up with into the comments if you want.
Outline-test your story idea. I like the 6-act structure, but you can use whatever structure you want. Here’s a template I use for outlines, if helpful. And 6ActStructure.com is the best structure website I’ve found and you should follow it and subscribe to their awesome YouTube Channel.
If you can fill in this template and the story sounds exciting, you’re ready to start character building, which I’ll post about next week.