Quick Writing Tip: Using the Comcast guide as a story machine

I'm working on a cute, little project right now. It's a YA romance, straight-up.

I knew I wanted to try writing a romance with dual points-of-view, but I didn't know what the story should be. So I turned to my Comcast guide.

I started working on this project in December, back when Hallmark was showing all the Christmas movies. (Are they still showing Christmas movies? Do they ever stop showing Christmas movies?) I started thinking about how all of these films are perfectly formulaic. That's not a knock. It's why people love them. It's why people read romances and watch rom-coms, for the predictability and the happily-ever-after.

If you read through Comcast's descriptions of these movies, they're kind of hilarious, but also vague enough to be inspiring.

"A confirmed bachelor adopts a stray cat, which leads a pretty vet student to enter his life and alter his feelings about being single."

"A woman sets out to meet her fiancé’s family at Christmas and winds up at the wrong house. Once the mistake is corrected, she realizes that her bond with the wrong family and their eligible son was stronger than the bond with the right one."

"A big city marketing exec moves to Montana to help her cousin open a cupcake shop right across the street from a rival bakery run by a rugged, bisexual cowboy, whose gruff exterior hides a painful past."

(I made up that last one.)

Anyway, are the wheels turning? These blurbs are just the setup. It's up to you to flesh out the characters, fill in the blanks, flip things around. You can try this with other genres, too.

"A mysterious, superhuman assassin teams with a young woman." (That's Agent 47)

"A lone astronaut is left alone on Mars." (That's, obviously, Ted 2)

The description gives you the premise, you make it yours.

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