Tuesday, October 13, 2009
On Sunday, Christy was showing a few interesting photos and the last one caused a sporadic thought to jump into my brain. The photo depicted a dead bird and Christy was talking about omens. I immediately thought, "What a great opener to a story."
I imagined a MC coming out their front door and seeing this dead bird, which was a bad omen leading to a storyline somewhere down the way. The interesting part is how such an inconsequential thing could launch an entire story.
That happens to me all the time. I'll see something or someone, and it starts me thinking about all sorts of what if's. Too often, little things we don't pay attention to (or inconsequential things we pay too much attention to) lead us down interesting paths. It's the idea that there is a story in everything and everyone - there just needs to be a storyteller to put it to paper.
Take for example an aluminum can in the gutter. It doesn't matter whether it's a Coke or Pepsi can (although of course I prefer the Coke side of things). Now along comes an elderly chap who collects cans for recycling. So the man picks up this can, but unfortunately he cuts his finger on a sharp edge. Without thinking, he sucks on the finger in anguish, lamenting his carelessness. From here, there are a number of ways to take it. Does the man become ill from germs on the can? Maybe he instead hurls the can in anger, hitting the windshield of a passing car? Or maybe the money from the can allows him to buy a winning lottery ticket?
From one little object, an entire tale can be told. Has anyone else ever begun a story from a small thing? When was the last time you had inspiration from a singular image?