I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what are the basic ingredients that start us thinking about a story. What starts your thinking? What starts you playing the “what if” game? I have begun a list of both light, funny and dark basic ideas. Here are a few of mine. Would you play with this and share yours?
- A friend of mine is a chef on a private luxury yacht. She is responsible for feeding the family who own the boat, the captain, the crew and herself. There are children on board. They travel the Mediterranean. One member of the crew (not to be named) is a tad difficult. I have plotted how he dies. As she is the chef, you can figure out what I have concocted. But, I promise you she is innocent.
- I raised two baby birds by accident when I was in high school. My brother brought them home after he saw them fall out of their nest. The Audubon Society told me that without feathers they’d never survive. Well, they did. It’s a long story with a happy ending. They rode on the back of my Newfoundland dog when my brother, sister and I had “Bird Olympics.” My only gripe is that my mother wouldn’t let them sit on my shoulders during dinner.
- My computer was stolen going through security at the Pisa, Italy airport. Security! My files were on a thumb drive in my purse. So, nothing terrible was lost except the machine. But, someone out there has both my laptop and my bag of liquids. What might they find? What might happen to my passwords? Where could this go as a story?
- Okay, keeping with the stolen angle—I had jewelry stolen from a bag I was forced to check (something I am so against doing). Someone out there is now wearing my “goods.” Take this away. Let your mind go wild. Maybe my gems were from an ancient family and were being taken to a museum. Maybe they were already stolen. Maybe they belonged to a husband who was divorcing me (not true) and I was trying to escape and use them as my security.
- I had a conversation two days ago with a retired commercial pilot. Gosh the stories he can tell! Couple that with our own tales make a good set of plots. He spoke of guns and hatchets in the cockpit, private security on the planes, and stuff he wouldn’t divulge. My husband boarded a plane a few days ago with our governor. He wasn’t with the governor, just trailing behind. The state police were in full-force at the gate. So, what could happen?
You get my message. Tell me how you come up with your ideas. Any interest in taking these and playing with them? I’m here.