Planning out a science fiction short story

Last week I tried out a new ideation technique I sort of figured out on my own. Basically, I developed the shortest possible summary of a story, and then continued asking myself questions about more details of the story. As I asked more questions, some of the parts of the story became pretty fleshed out, while other parts of the story remain unresolved. So asking the questions is step one.

Step two is actually going back through and answering all of the questions, which is a bit more difficult (and will require more careful thought, because I actually have to come up with clever ideas that all fit into a cohesive whole). I haven’t done step two yet. But here are the unedited, flow of consciousness results of step one (and please, nobody steal my story idea, I plan on turning it into a full story). And, in the comments below, tell me if you think this method for coming up with story ideas is any good. Or, I suppose, if you think the story idea itself is any good.

Two main characters:
Jocques, a deserter soldier who has fled war not because he is a pacifist, but for more pragmatic concerns: he didn’t think the war was worth fighting for, and he did not want to chance his life.
Mehrit, a hermit living alone high up on a forested hill. His past is a secret and society simply seems to have forgotten about him. [And yes, the name is an anagram of Hermit, and yes, that name probably isn’t final.]

What kind of technology will we see?
What is Mehrit’s past? There must be something intensely interesting about it.
How do Jocques’ feelings on war evolve over the course of the story?
What is the event that precipitates a change in the relationship between Jocques and Mehrit towards the end?
Does Jocques convince Mehrit to rejoin society? Does Jocques himself become a hermit?
What was the war over, and how does it affect the planet they are currently on?
Are there any interactions with the rest of the planet’s inhabitants?
Mehrit must evolve over time from seeming completely un-sympathetic towards very sympathetic, as it is revealed that his choice to become a hermit was truly the best option available to him in response to society.
Just how crazy does Mehrit seem? Does he randomly attack Jocques?
What do the two look like?
How large is Mehrit’s residence?
What pervasive humorous element can be added?
Should Mehrit have completely non-stereotypical attributes for a hermit, e.g. he shaves every day?
Over time, do the two mellow out a bit and become more like the other?
How does Mehrit react upon first realizing Jocques is there?
What is the process like that results in Mehrit eventually acknowledging Jocques instead of continuing to ignore him?
Does Jocques save Mehrit in some way to precipitate said process?
Do the “space marines” (or whatever) ever come looking for Jocques, or do they have too much on their hands?
Do they come looking for him anyway as a punitive measure even though they have too much time on their hands?
(Mehrit and Jocques can cleverly fight off an attack until the marines give up. This would make a nice climax.)
Does Mehrit keep any pets? How unfriendly can they be? (Presumably a pet dog is too un-hermitlike, but a pet land crab ..)
How much does the resident flora and fauna differ from that of Earth?
What level of technology does Mehrit have available to him? How uneven will various aspects of it be? (For instance, PV cells [photovoltaic; i.e. solar panels] to power lights at night, but cooks food over open flame?)
What is the impact on the local environment from Mehrit’s long-term habitation there?
How soon after discovering Mehrit’s “house” does Jocques meet Mehrit for the first time?
What shared common interest can the two bond over? The wackier and less useful, the better. (Whittling?)
What is the ending? Do either of them die?
What is the unique aspect to this tale that hooks readers and distinguishes it from all other tales of fictional hermits?
How is Mehrit’s past carefully unwound over the course of the story, but never said explicitly? Is Jocques rummaging through his stuff behind his back and discovering things?
Does Mehrit have some sort of lost love interest?
For that matter, does Jocques?
Do we allude to Jocques’ past at all? What if the whole story is about discovering Mehrit’s life story, but we never learn anything more about Jocques from before his landing?
What is the name of the planet?
What kind of food do they eat? Is it mostly hunting or mostly agriculture?
How much focus do I put on basic wilderness survival techniques?
How many rooms are in Mehrit’s dwelling?
What does Jocques do with his Osto suit after landing? (Burying it without telling Mehrit?) Is it still operational, so can he use it to leave at the end of the story?
What is the progression of plot points and problems overcome that drives the story?
I.e. what happens between Mehrit finally talking to Jocques, a possible climax with the marines, and then the ending?
What surprising, uncharacteristic skills does Mehrit possess?
Are the two sad or happy at the conclusion of the story?
Is there an overarching allegory to society that attempts to posit a solution to a societal problem?

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