There Are No Bad Ideas: Ideation for Storytellers

“There is no such thing as a bad idea.”

I’m sure you’ve heard this phrase before—you might have even seen it on another creative advice website. It’s the sort of entry level advice that is both incredibly valuable and infuriatingly reductive. The truth is a bit more complex. There are bad ideas, but that does not mean that they are without merit or value.

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The Email That Started It All

The day was March 12, 2015. I was walking home from work, contemplating the inevitable yet no less heartbreaking news: Sir Terry Pratchett had passed away. Sir Terry represented 50% of my personal writing heroes, so you must understand I was staggered by the gaping hole he left behind in literature and my soul. How could we, as a species, hope to fill this void? How does one person come to be as skilled, intelligent, delightful, and insightful as he was through each of his works?

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Inciting Community

Just over one whole year ago, I sent an email to James with three little words in it: Adventures in Storytelling. (Actually, the email had a lot of words in it, but three very important ones were “Adventures”, “in”, and “Storytelling”.) In that moment I laid out an idea that was 10% plan, and asked him if he wanted to be a part of “…something better than if I do it alone.”

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Reclaiming the Title of Storyteller

Adventures in Storytelling is an ambitious project. In between multiple jobs and mortgages and marriages and home renovations and all manner of adult responsibilities, about a year ago, Luke and I made a big decision. We decided we would go ahead with this project, even if we didn’t really know at the time what the project was, exactly. Now that we’ve had some time to think about what we’re doing, we’ve realised that in some ways we’re doing what has been done many times before: we’re building an online writer’s advice website. Our novel trick, our niche, is that we’re trying to prove that the advice we have isn’t just for writers. It is for any creator, storytellers of every make, shape, and size. Nevertheless, we are very well aware of the fact that we’re moving over well-trodden ground. So why the continued commitment? Why are we passionate about Adventures in Storytelling?

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Calling All Storytellers: the Adventures in Storytelling Pitch!

At the start of Adventures in Storytelling, before this website existed as a place for us to meet and share ideas, as James and Luke were gathering the community, they sent around a Google-doc that detailed the vision of the project, its goals, direction, and a brief how-to in regards to getting started. Though the original dates were full of hope and failure (and rightly removed from this rendition), the doc nonetheless played its part in bringing this group of creators together.

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