Welcome back to the third installment of Starting Our as a Writer by Canadian author Simon Rose. Enjoy:
A great way to get started is to consider an overheard conversation and where it might lead. How about “I’ll never forgive him for as long as I live”, or “I didn’t mean to set the laboratory on fire, it just kind of happened” or “after that incident last year, her family will never be the same again”. Any of these could be overheard in the aisle of the supermarket, at a store checkout or on a long bus or train journey. You could even find a mysterious note or a cell phone, with either a text or a voice message containing tantalizingly vague details, from someone who may be in serious danger. Or maybe you receive a letter and immediately recognize the name above the return address as belonging to someone you thought was dead? All of these are great story starters, but can also help you develop your own idea or take you down a completely different path altogether.
Another idea is to set up an imaginary dinner party at your house. The guests could be celebrities, movie and TV actors, characters from books, comics, cartoons or movies. These could be characters you like, admire, find irritating, or even detest, it’s really up to you. What would they have in common? What kinds of things might they talk about? What topics might the, agree or disagree on? You choose the guests based on the dynamics that might occur from having them all in the same place, at a truly fascinating imaginary party.
Simon Rose is the author of The Alchemist’s Portrait, The Sorcerer’s Letterbox, The Clone Conspiracy, The Emerald Curse, The Heretic’s Tomb, The Doomsday Mask and The Time Camera, plus many non-fiction books for children. Visit his website at www.simon-rose.com or his blog at http://simon-rose.blogspot.com/