I get mad sometimes. I mean, properly fuming about things. I won’t tell you which things, because that doesn’t matter, but I’m betting you do too.
Neighbors’ dogs barking too much? People in the street being inconsiderate? Politicians doing nothing (or the wrong thing) about an issue you care about?
Take that energy and use it in a story.
Mentally travel ten years into the future. What if [a hot-button issue for you really care about] has come to pass/been squelched. What does that mean for everyday life? What will your hero face/do about it?
- Use an issue you really, really get annoyed about.
- Promise yourself you won’t post/publish this anywhere if the idea of being ‘outed’ on this issue makes you uncomfortable.
- You don’t need to set the whole story in the future. You can set it in the past or in an altered present where this issue is different (examples: what if gun laws had been radically changed ten years ago? What if catastrophic climate change was already being played out in a way that no-one could ignore? What if, ten years ago, your government had decreed girls could no longer go to school? What if aliens had arrived a decade ago and imposed world peace?)
- You can go all dystopian as Margaret Atwood did in “The Handmaid’s Tale” or positive as in the Star Trek universe created by Gene Rodenberry.
- You can use satire if you don’t want to go too dark, but still get enraged on an issue. See: Terry Pratchett, Jonathan Swift, South Park…
- It doesn’t need to be a ‘world’ issue. If it really is ‘dogs barking incessantly’, just channel your rage about that and set a protagonist loose on the problem. Go where ever your story takes you. Then go a little further.