Anyone that watches Glee will understand the concept of a 'mash-up'. Basically, you take two songs and mash them together to make something greater than the sum of the parts.
Well, I found out the other day that stories need plot mash-ups.
I have a good plot point for my current story: three children discover a secret railway used only by animals.
Unfortunately, that is not a story.
Listening to Writing Excuses, Season 1 Episode 1, they talk about how plots actually need to be two ideas to make a full story. Based on a theory by Orson Scott Card (I think), they stated that plots should be made up of a mundane plot idea and an extraordinary one. Though, I have to admit for a lot of their examples it sounded like just two awesome ideas. But, hey, if you have two awesome ideas, just go with it!
So, I have plot point number one, what I need is plot point number two.
What can you do with a secret railway, children and animals? Well, my first plot has no conflict, just a method of movement. So, obviously I need a second plot that introduces conflict.
My answer: creatures from another dimension that have found a way into this world.
Not yet sure how best to mash these together so that it makes a coherent story, but hopefully it will come as I write.
Perhaps the creatures are currently bound to a particular location, but if they could capture the train, they would be able to take over the whole earth...
My other idea was that halfway through just when the kids are about to win, the creatures take their memories and leave them stuck perpetually on the train, until they manage to regain their memories and fight themselves free...