Pulling A Story Out of Your… Out of Thin Air

Somebody posts a call for submissions. Holly Jahangiri, for example. Or Apex magazine. You want to submit, but you don’t have an already-written story hanging around the office, eating its head off. You have to actually go to work and write something.

Go like this:

  1. Something happens
  2. Something else happens
  3. Something else happens
  4. Things look bad
  5. The end

So, following Holly’s challenge, I went to my blog’s spam folder and found this gem from – I am not making this up – free summer fun activities for kids:

Logging onto the net and hiring one of these lovely ladies will surely make your marriage more adventurous and exciting. Exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays can increase the risk for skin cancer. Real estate agents and brokers can help you in this regard and allow you to buy the best property in Fort Myers. Plus, she generously provides free baby shower party games activities and baby shower party supplies. You may want to sort them out based on what you want for each page and categorize them.

So let’s take that apart and shuffle the bits around.

  • Real estate agents and brokers can help you in this regard and allow you to buy the best property in Fort Myers.
  • Exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays can increase the risk for skin cancer.
  • Logging onto the net and hiring one of these lovely ladies will surely make your marriage more adventurous and exciting.
  • You may want to sort them out based on what you want for each page and categorize them.
  • Plus, she generously provides free baby shower party games activities and baby shower party supplies.

It practically writes itself, doesn’t it?

  1. Michael and Melisa Snead (names culled from various spammed comments) have lived in Ft. Myers, Florida, for most of their married life. Neither one would claim to be happy, exactly, but “miserable” is too strong a word for their marriage. Then Melisa comes home from the doctor with bad news: those freckles she’s developed all over her face and arms aren’t freckles; they’re cancer.
  2. At first, Michael and Melisa grow closer. Then, as she’s more involved with her treatment and support group, and her freckles grow in spite of all treatment, Michael begins to look for distraction online.
  3. One day, Michael is at work and Melisa’s laptop is unavailable for some reason, and she uses his, finding his folders of women, which he has labeled as if they were women he was looking to hire to help Melisa out and sorting into tasks: Housekeeper, Companion, Cook. Melisa, worn out with Michael’s procrastination, picks one and hires her.
  4. The woman, Florene Bronson, shows up. Something about baby showers. Plug something into the earlier stuff to make baby showers necessary.
  5. Wrap it up. The end.

Yeah, okay, so that’s started. Well begun is almost done, eh? Now I just have to decide if I want this story to be fantasy, science fiction, or horror. May need to write my way into it before I know. Or it may turn out to be a romance or so-called literary story, dammit. But that’s how you pull a story out of your thin air.

I’ll let you know how it comes along.

A WRITING PROMPT FOR YOU: What should I call this story?

MA

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About

I was born in Louisville, Kentucky, but now live in the woods in southern Indiana. Though I only write fiction, I love to read non-fiction. The more I learn about this world, the more fantastic I see it is.

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One thought on “Pulling A Story Out of Your… Out of Thin Air

  1. Jane
    Twitter:

    January 12, 2015 at 10:32am

    I am reminded of a true story in the news this past year:
    A nanny or maid was hired to live in, and when the folks wished to fire her, they could not get her to move out. She holed up in her room, and etc. the story wrote itself.
    Oh, wait. It was real.
    Resorting to law enforcement was not an instant fix, either, as I recall.
    Isn’t life barmy?

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