Thursday, June 14, 2012

Where do story ideas come from?

When you hang out with authors, there's often discussion about where the idea for a story came from. The answers are as varied as the stories. Dreams, hopes, fears, what-ifs, news stories, family history . . .

Being in possession of an overactive imagination, I came up with the beginning of a story yesterday. It's only in my mind, I didn't write it down. Yet.

My idea came from an experience I had. Our mailbox is one of those community mailboxes that holds the mail for about 12 homes. The other day I got a piece of mail that had my house number, but the street was clear across town. I slipped the letter back into the outgoing mail slot, hoping the letter carrier would deliver it to the correct address.

The next time I checked my mail,  the letter was back in my mailbox. Since it was first delivered on a Saturday, and showed up again on a Monday, and since it obviously was some kind of check, I thought the person waiting for it might be a bit anxious to receive it.

Yesterday I had to go into town and decided to drop the letter off at the Post Office, but then I changed my mind. Since the address was less than a mile from the PO, and it was a business address, I decided to drop it off there.

The gentleman to whom the letter was intended was very happy that I went out of my way to deliver his check. But by the time I got back into my car, the beginning of a story was taking form in my mind.

Suppose the situation had occurred exactly as I lived it, BUT when my character gets to the office building and knocks on the door she hears something . . .

That's as far as I got. What could she have heard? An argument? A threat? The voice of a loved one, upset? A neighbor saying something scandalous?

The possibilities are endless, and all because a letter was misdirected to me.

What do you think she could have heard??

1 comment:

marie jank said...

What a unique experience that really fires the imagination Megan. Love this illustration of an idea coming fr. every day life. Thanks for sharing.