Friday, July 29, 2011
Born from a Scene
I started another short story simply with the scene of a female working late at the office. I had no idea where I'd go from there but, several edits later, it's one of my favorite stories. One I'll be turning into a novel.
My stories aren't built from grand or even well thought out scenes. I see or hear things and sometimes they speak to me. While riding in the car with my parents, I heard them say they hadn't been able to sleep the night before and I, too, hadn't slept well. Instantly I thought- monster, some creature may be playing with us. What a great story that would make!
Don't worry. I acted like an adult and didn't run into small corners as if something was chasing me or stare at store windows as the mannequins came alive though that would've been hilarious. I didn't expect this to exist anywhere but my mind but as it happened, it stuck with me and I turned it into a novel. I ended up changing a lot of it but still, the novel was born from me just having fun with my imagination.
Often, while I'm out and about, I'll come across things screaming "put me in a story" like a contorted tree, a lone red glove draped over a fence, a rose sitting on the floor in the middle of a subway car, an abandoned factory. At my parents' house, during a bad thunderstorm, the wind toyed with the door of the dog pen. It opened and closed slowly as though something invisible was moving it. That, coupled with the heavy rain, thunder and overcast sky, made for a chilling atmosphere. I had to pull out my camera and record it.
Another time, the power went out for the entire neighborhood. I'd opened the backdoor at night for some reason and froze. The yard was pitch black. I've always lived in the city so total blackness was never something I'd seen before. I was totally fascinated with it but not enough to walk outside. That would've just been stupid. I stood on the porch for awhile registering what it looked like and how it made me feel because I was going use it in a story.
Don't expect to be knocked clean off your feet by a story idea, just keep your eyes and ears open. Great stories can come from small place.
Auden is a dark fantasy author. As a kid, she created her own books by folding several construction papers in half and stapling them down the middle, adding her own illustrations. No matter how hard she tried, she couldn’t get away from writing. Darkness and dark thing have always fascinated her.