Ever wonder where stories come from?
Have you wondered where you can find new stories?
This question came to the forefront when I recently came up with a new novel idea from a very novel source. But first, here’s where some of my other stories have come from.
Reymons came from a high school writing assignment. Mrs. Fender told us to write a short fiction story. She suggested we write about something we like.
I liked driving my dad’s Datsun 280Z. My short story had me going out for a short drive in the little sports car, only to have an obsession come over me that caused me to drive as fast as possible into the mountains. There I followed a line of traffic into a subterranean passage where we were sheltered from a nuclear holocaust (this was during the Cold War).
Reymons revisits that post-apocalyptic world four hundred years later.
Wil Clarey came from my experience as a 16-year-old who was transplanted from the San Francisco Peninsula to rural southwest Virginia. Many of the scenes were based on actual events in my life.
It’s first iteration was, frankly, boring. Then I married into a son on the autism spectrum. I had to think, what if I had been on the spectrum? I rewrote it with that in mind. I lowered Wil’s age to make it middle grade which suited the story better.
Daddy Mine was a bed-time story. I wanted a strong female character for my daughter to look up to. I started with the concept of an orphan 12-year-old girl in a mining town. From the first scene where the neighbor girls are teasing her, it basically wrote itself as I told it to my daughter.
Countdown, or Synchronized, or whatever I end up calling it was a deliberate effort at coming up with an adult level action novel. Some of the situations are drawn from work experience. Other than that, it is made from scratch. It is on hold simply because I found that I need to do some significant research that I don’t have time for right now.
Finally, my as yet unnamed new story. The source?
In my dream, I remember feeling very nervous going into an inner-city middle school. I was an adult, there to teach or give a speech. That’s about all I remember of the dream. But I woke up thinking, “this’ll write!”
I made an effort to remember the dream and at lunch, I wrote the first chapter so I would remember the idea.
The main character is now called Evan. He is a paraplegic, having lost the use of his legs in a brutal mugging. That made him re-evaluate his life. Upon recovery, he completed a teaching certificate and finally landed this teaching job after the previous teacher quit mid-year. His unique teaching style ruffles feathers among his fellow teachers.
I can hardly wait to write that story!
I hope this inspires you to find your stories. Look in the unusual places.
Get them written!