Tuesday, October 6, 2015

The Compass Story Cupboard

I've mentioned before that my mind doesn't always travel in a straight line.  Just the other day a story title popped into my head - "Just South of True North" - and a couple of paragraphs followed that I wrote down to let percolate for a while.

That title made me think about other titles with compass directions in them, like the movie "West by Northwest", then my mind went sideways and I thought "East of the Lemon Bars".  Great title for a children's story, or perhaps there's a women walking along a buffet table and someone approaches her when she's just east of a scrumptious looking plate of lemon bars.  Not a title but it could make a pretty decent opening line with a little bit of work.  Then I wondered what if someone was traveling just east of the Lemon Bar.  What kind of person runs the Lemon Bar?  What kind of place is it?  Maybe a strip joint with a dead girl in the parking lot?  Or maybe a bakery that just had a body delivered with the flour order?

By just adding a few compass points to a sentence or a title can give you a whole new perspective on a story, or open up a new cupboard full of story ideas.  You know, like south of the river, north of the I-80, even east of the hog wallow could work.  Just open your mind to the possibilities and start tapping away at your keyboard or jotting down notes.

4 comments:

Leroy Vaughn said...

Hello Sandra,
I have a copy of an old car ad from 1923 titled "Somewhere west of Laramie," framed in my office.
It's one of those interesting stories about a car manufacturer traveling on a train out west, that comes up with a great ad to sell his cars.
Leroy

sandra seamans said...

And have you used that picture for a story yet, Leroy? :)

Leroy Vaughn said...

Sandra,
I've thought about it several times, but just can't come up with an idea that would do justice to the picture.
Leroy

sandra seamans said...

It'll come one day when you least expect, Leroy. But I know what you mean, I have a picture on my wall that's just begging for a story and I've tried several times but just haven't quite nailed it.