Monday, 11 March 2013

Journey of a Story...Part Five: Scene Ideas

I don’t know how other writer’s do things.  I only know what I do.  Right now I am still working on the second draft for my newest novel and have to edit Red Island before it goes to print, so I really don’t want to start this new story until those are taken care of.  But no matter how many times I tell myself this, my creative brain doesn’t really want to listen.  I still have a lot of work to do on this story before I start anything anyway.  For instance I want to completely build out the characters of Spencer and Chrys first. (can you guess what part 6 is going to be about?)

In the meantime things happen that give me ideas for scenes.  Much like the original idea they just show up out of the blue and an entire scene shows up in my head and plays through over and over until I work out the kinks.

Chrys Wanderingspirit
Idea/Scene #1 (this one isn’t so much of a scene but part of some character background)  Chrys is a foster child that came into Spencer’s family when she was young, but I wasn’t sure how.  I work at a daycare.  One day nobody showed to pick up a little girl.  Social Services had to be called to come get her.  The moment she saw their white van she flipped out.  In the end it turned out to be a mix-up on who was supposed to pick her up. 

IDEA:  Chrys’s mother never shows up again.  She just disappeared so Spencer’s family is all that she gets to know.  (Of course this means in book 2 or 3 they try to find out what happened to her)

Idea/Scene #2 My wife works at a locksmiths and last week one of the locksmiths had to go to a house to unlock the door for the police because nobody had seen the lady that lived there.  Unfortunately it turned out that she had passed away in her sleep. 

IDEA: Before this book starts Chrys went with a locksmith to the creepy house to change the locks and then he comes back later in the book (see #3).  In a future book he could come to them with the news of a suspicious death that they can solve.

That oven behind us is where the
origional idea is from.
(I'm the one with the hat)
Idea/Scene #3 I was thinking of writing a quick short story with the characters to work them out and get some interest.  Back when I worked at the Urban Eatery I had a story idea about finding a body in the 650 degree brick pizza oven.  (I’m great at parties)  So why not do a short story staring Spencer and Chrys and a body found in the restaurant oven.  But then I had to wonder…how would a restaurant recover from some random body found in an oven?  I don’t think I’d want to go eat in a place that had roast him/her…unless they had a kickass hamburger.

IDEA:  Make it a scene in the bigger story.  Bad guy starts going after Spencer and Chrys.

Spencer wakes up on a Sunday morning to the smell of something cooking downstairs. (did I mention they live in an apartment above the restaurant?)  He figures it is just the brunch chef that runs the Sunday brunch so that he has a day off.  And then she screams.  Spencer runs downstairs and discovers that there is a body in the oven.  The brunch chef turned it on in passing without looking inside.  Spencer opens the oven and sees the black mess of burned limbs and a skull, but he can’t tell who it is.  Then he sees the bracelet that his sister owns.  Spencer runs back up the stairs, crashes into his sister’s bedroom, and finds her having sex.  I so want to write this scene.  You don’t understand how much I want to write the confusion of waking up, the fear of why the chef is screaming, the sudden stun of what is in the oven, followed quickly by hysterical terror that it could be his sister, and finally embarrassment, relief, and confusion.

Ideas can come from anywhere.  Someone can say or do something, IDEA.  This past winter a snow plow uncovered a body in a snow bank.  I can make a whole novel out of that.  Last weekend we went to a city just 4 hours away and got stuck there for two extra days because of an ice storm that closed the highways down.  That alone can be an idea, but there were also people coming to the hotel that can be a cornucopia of story characters.  You have to be open to letting your imagination take you places and build on the simplest of things.  They say a picture is worth a thousand words…take a picture and write a story about what you see.  It doesn't have to be about mystery, crime, or suspense but you shouldn't let anything get in your way.  Imagination is the freedom to write whetever is inside you.  The only rule for me is to keep it as real as fiction can be.  Basically I make up stuff that could really happen.

Please leave a comment and tell me what you think of the Journey of a Story blog.

To catch up on any you may have missed please click on the links below.
Part One: The Idea               Part Two: The Characters            
 Part Three: Character Development             Part Four: The Place

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