POST CARDS FROM THE MUSE
By Nandy Ekle
Where do you get your ideas?
Everywhere. Literally. There is no shortage of stories in this world, or any other world for that matter. You just have to tune in to them.
Go to the mall and watch the people walking and shopping. Try to imagine what their lives are like. There are some people who strut around like peacocks, displaying what they think is great looks and fashion sense. There are “mallers” who are there for fun, walking with friends, laughing, playing, dancing around. Then there are the “trudgers.” These are the people who are there because they have to be—mothers pulling or pushing kids, men who are dragged by an invisible leash from the wife or girl friend in front of them. All these different types of people make me wonder why they are there.
But that’s not the only way to find a story. Read. Every. Thing. Every book, every paper, every billboard, article, instruction, even the ingredients on the back of the Lysol can. Reading every word in the world helps to enhance your vocabulary as well as show you an example of what works well and what doesn’t work at all. We don’t want to copy someone else’s story, but we can definitely get a few ideas.
And don’t forget all the senses: touch, taste, hear, see, and smell. These are great story radars.
If you follow these rules, you’ll never lose a story idea.
What this all boils down to is, there is a story on every piece of dust in the universe.
In the movie “The Magic of Belle Island,” Morgan Freeman plays an old broken down writer who lives next door to a young girl. She wants to be a writer as well and asks the old writer to teach her to make up stories. He takes her outside and asks her what she sees. Her answer to him is the same old stuff, cars on the street, trees covered with leaves, absolutely nothing any different from any other day. Then the old writer says, “Now tell me what you don’t see.”
This is where ideas come from.
Congratulations. You have just received a post card from the muse.