Thursday, May 19, 2016

The List Story Cupboard

Years ago I read an essay by Ray Bradbury where he wrote about making lists of titles.  His titles were things like The Lake, The Night, The Mirror Maze, basically all nouns that began to stir stories for him.  I expect most writers have lists of ideas that they write down and pull out when they need to find a story idea. 

Now, I keep my "list" on scraps of paper in front of my keyboard.  Mine aren't as neat and ordered as Mr. Bradbury's because I write down things I hear or read or see.  To be more accurate I usually mishear, misread, or see with the crooked side of my brain.  Here's a few of the things on my list.  Maybe they'll give you an idea or two for a story of your own,

1.  Praying Drunk or Preying Drunk - I wondered what a drunk person would pray for then I wondered how a drunk would prey.
2.  Paper Pajamas - One of those misheard things that made sense when I wrote it down.
3.  Finding Lost - Just a twist on lost and found.
4.  Agnes and True - Just a pair of names I wrote down.
5.  The Broken Rosary - Just seemed like an interesting start to a mystery story.
6.  Vinegar and Glitter - Yeah, this was at the bottom of a grocery list, no clue why.
7.  Last Worst Act - I blame Frank Regan for this one but I wondered what someone would do when they realized they'd just committed the worst act of their life.
8.  An Occasional Prostitute - Just wondered why a woman would become a part time prostitute aside from needing money.  Money is the easy answer but could there be other reasons?  And could those reason lead to an interesting story?
9.  Lady Bug - I was thinking about that lady bug poem about flying away home and how the unexpected always happens when someone returns to their childhood home or even a home they might have run away from.
10.  Identity Theft - I always liked those Bette Davis movies where she took over her twin sister's life and discovered that she'd walked into a nightmare.  Now imagine stealing the wrong identity.

Markets have been a tad scarce of late but hopefully that will improve.


Charles Gramlich said...

I keep note files like this as well.

Al Tucher said...

Re #8:

(If you'll forgive a little BSP.)

Leroy Vaughn said...

A couple of quick comments.
#2 paper pajamas:
Reminds me of the story about the cowboy that wore paper clothes. He was hanged for rustling.
#8 Occasional prostitute:
Also known as a politician.

OK, time for my nap.

sandra seamans said...

I expect most writers do in one form or another, Charles.

Good one, Al!

Love 'em, Leroy! Every writer's mind travels in a different direction :)