Friday, July 29, 2011

A Story is Born...

Think left and think right and think low and think high. Oh, the thinks you can think up if only you try! 
~Dr. Seuss, Oh, the Thinks You Can Think!

Did you ever wonder how a story is born? The foreplay, the inception, the follow through, and then the BIRTH of a short story or novel, or maybe even an article?

A lot of times it is through idle gossip or a man walking with flowers and as your mind wonders where he is going, who the flowers are for; you are now having the foreplay of a story being born.

I remember when I first began this journey of writing, one of the things I learned or was taught about how to find a story idea, I was told to stop/look/ and listen. Stop to take in my surroundings, observe the people, this is where our characters are being formed. The man in a suit on a 100 degree day, with a mutton chop mustache, and a cane by his side. That stands out in a observant day, and you now have a character to build a story with.

Listen: You’re in a cafe, minding your own business when you over hear two elegant older women talking. You take a quick glance and you automatically get the feeling that you are going to pair one of them with old mutton chops. Your mind is reeling now. They start talking about Barb, the hair dresser having an affair! Oh my, you are now in on the good stuff.

Well Barb is having an affair with this dashing fellow, (who sounds an awful lot like old mutton chops.) You begin to take notes on a napkin because this story starter is just too good to pass up!

As commotion begins in another booth with a bunch of teenagers. You over hear the one declaring, “She was my girlfriend first!” Then the a gun is pulled out and the teen tells the other to leave. The two ladies behind you gasp so loud, you record on the napkin OMG!
An officer who happens to be seated at the counter, out of uniform, stands, pulls out his pistol...

Do you see how one thing leads to another in the making of a story? This is how simple it is for us writers. Not all of us mind you have this innate ability to make point A meet point B! Some of us get stuck in the dungeon with writers block and we can’t see old Harry mutton chops with Esmeralda the town snot. But it’s there! A story is waiting to be born!

In the corners of your imagination; in the stench of the dank and dark dungeon, awaits a story, just wanting to be unraveled. And you, the writer, are going to be the one to unravel it, thread by thread, until you blanket the reader with...satisfaction!

Now get writing and remember, there is a story in each and every one of you just waiting to be told!


The creative person is both more primitive and more cultivated, more destructive, a lot madder and a lot saner, than the average person. 
~Frank Barron, Think, November-December 1962


Martureo said...

Good post! I desire to write fiction and your post reminded me that I need to be more active and observant to catch that story that is around me.

joni said...

It's there! Stop,Look and Listen! :)

benning said...

Very good! As long as you open your senses to the world around you, then open your mind to your own imagination, the stories wil come out. :D

Deborah said...

Hmmm...the man walking with the flowers seems vaguely familiar....:P

Great post, Joni! Now, are ya gonna tell us what happened with the 2 teen girls, or not?! Oh, the suspense! I was quickly reading to see what happened, then THE END! What?? Oh dear, now someone has to write the "rest of the story!"

joni said...

See Deb,
You inspired this post. You made me think of how the story is born! :)

But...YOU have to FINISH the story. :)

Deborah said...

I'm in process of writing it... if my husband would just stop with all the paperwork he keeps giving me to deal with.... then I could get it done!

joni said...

Maybe the man is leaving the store with flowers in his hand for his wife who is home sitting behind MOUNDS of paperwork that he left her to do! ;)

Deborah said...

Do you remember my post around the new year about the rose that someone gave me?
I wrote a story about that for f2k AND Tom even wrote and got published his own story about it too. If I can find the story, would you like to read it? Just send me your email and I can get it to you. :)