I’ve Got Problems by Bob Krech

Sticking with the NOvember theme, I started thinking about how “No” relates to problems and how problems are often at the heart of many stories. Here are a few example “NO’s” from stories I know:

No clues
No suspect
No murder weapon
No evidence
No alibi
No parents
No friends
No escape
No one to play with
No money
No confidence
No direction
No love

A fun way to utilize “NO’s” to generate a story is to pick a scenario, for example, a child planning on going out trick or treating on Halloween. Now we use our “NO’s” to create some problems to give our character. For example:

No costume
No one to trick or treat with
No permission to go out
No where to go trick or treating
No time to go out (too much homework, have to take care of a baby sister, etc.)
No good weather

It’s fun to help a character figure out ways to overcome these “NO’s.” In the end, if we are successful, and find interesting ways to effectively defeat these problems, we  remove the “NO’s” and leave our character and the reade, with a big… “YES!” instead.


  1. Excellent suggestion for such a simple and easy way of brainstorming story concepts!


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