A to Z Challenge 2013

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Tuesday Thoughts


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?

9 comments:

Andrea Cremer said...

It's the same for me Eric, tiny moment create scenes or the opening of a novel. Great post.

Galen Kindley--Author said...

Are you a writer or what??? Man, those are great examples of how simply being alert to the world about you makes for wonderful writing fodder. I’ve got like--no imagination. Sad, but true. So, when I see folks like you, who can conjure up not only one, but several possibilities from a single incident, I’m very impressed. Good work.

Best Regards, Galen

Imagineering Fiction Blog

Tere Kirkland said...

This is more or less how I get my ideas. The inspiration for Evangeline was just a scrap of paper on the bus floor that turned into a tarot card on the streetcar.

I DID start a story with an augury once, but the main character was looking for a sign in the flight of birds on purpose.

ElanaJ said...

This is so true! I watched a commercial once and was inspired to write a story about a world where there was no competition. I haven't actually done it yet, but you know...

Christy Raedeke said...

I love the can idea! Interesting to look at an everyday thing and then try to put together a unique sequence of events with it.

Fortunately for me the dead bird brought no bad omens...yet. :)

lotusgirl said...

Hey. talking about dead birds, have you seen the new show flashforward? What do you think the dead crows mean? Hmmm.

Snowbrush said...

I don't write stories much, but I do think of things all the time that could form the basis of a blog entry. Too bad I am so resistant to carrying a notebook with which to write them down.

Johanna said...

I generally get a story idea from a place. I'll be sitting on a bus and something about the feel, smell or the way it bumps along presents me with a character and the story begins to unravel in my mind's eye. Just about all of my stories have begun this way.

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