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Story Plot Grist Mill

09 May

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As writers, we should see ideas everywhere. They can come out of the most surprising places or something mundane can trigger that creative spark.

Over the last 60 days, I have quit my job of 20 years, accepted the job of a lifetime, sold my house, bought a new house, started the new job and survived the first week of orientation. All without losing my mind or my temper. But, more important, there has been no fewer then eight ideas for story scenes pop into my head based on the situations I’ve been dealing with.

For example: I was sitting at a bar having a going away lunch with a dear friend. I ordered a glass of Macallan 12 year scotch with one cube. Except that instead of “cube” it came out of my mouth as “stone”. The young female bartender with the face of an angel smiled and asked, “Would ice be okay?” Realizing my poor choice of words, I apologized for confusing her.

Her eyes twinkled as she replied, “You’re going to make me cry.”

My friend quickly recommended, “You should go into the freezer to cry so that your tears make him some special ice cubes.”

At this point my overactive imagination took over and the next five minutes, I “think wrote” a scene for an upcoming short story involving a beautiful barkeep, a character ordering a drink with one stone and some ice made from the tear of a goddess. The scene will be the catalyst some unusual story lines.

My friend, who is also my alpha reader, laughed until she cried at the way the scene came together. She had never seen me do that before and has been wondering how I worked.

Every personal interaction can be tweaked a bit and used as the groundwork for your story. Maybe the arrogant moving company agent turns into the guild master who doesn’t realize he’s dealing with a master assassin. Perhaps the talkative real estate agent makes the perfect noble fop to obtain intelligence from on the royal court.

The bottom line is this: keep your eyes and other senses open because you never know where the next interesting idea will come from.

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10 responses to “Story Plot Grist Mill

  1. WhitneyCarter

    May 9, 2016 at 6:57 pm

    Change and new experiences are excellent sources of inspiration. Congrats on all of your big transitions! ❤

     
  2. Sally Johnson

    May 9, 2016 at 9:47 pm

    Congratulations on your bold and brave life choices…I envy you!
    Love reading your work, Dennis….thanks for sharing it! ❤

     
    • Dennis Langley

      May 10, 2016 at 10:50 am

      Thanks, Sally. It has been a little hair raising at times. But overall, pretty smooth.

       
  3. yhosby

    May 10, 2016 at 9:35 pm

    Good luck on your new job. It’s cool that you weren’t afraid of taking new chances 🙂 I love your advice of inspiration can be found anywhere.

    Keep smiling,
    Yawatta

     
  4. Pamela Wickershein Ranta

    May 11, 2016 at 4:42 pm

    Love your creative mind & adventurous spirit. Thanks for sharing your journey.

     
  5. Matthew Wright

    May 12, 2016 at 3:08 pm

    Very true! For me the intriguing part of the ‘inspiration process’ is the way that everyday things can often trigger some quite wild and left-field idea that on the surface had nothing to do with whatever’s around me, although it probably did (somehow).

     
    • Dennis Langley

      May 12, 2016 at 6:27 pm

      Our subconscious has a mind of its own. You are right. Little mundane things can trigger some really bizarre results.

       

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