Thursday, September 9, 2010

Dick and Jane to the Rescue!

Whatamigunnawriteaboutthistime delineates a serious hole in my creativity. I should have that translated into Latin and carved into the lintel. However, that was okay in the days of stone, or even wood lintels. I suspect our lintel is some version of recycled pop bottles.

Every Tuesday I go through this agony. My columns are due Mondays, so Tuesday nights I am faced with the question. I am writing about coyotes this time, and have managed to stretch it into a two part series. Blogs are more difficult because I know the people I am writing for so in the back of my mind is always this terrible thought: what if everyone sends rotten tomatoes in the mail? What if I want to open the blogspot and a big hand fills the screen: NOT YOU CONNIE, or I find an empty space where my name used to be? What if I am blog blocked?

Here it is Wednesday night and my best idea about not knowing what to write about is: Not Knowing What to Write About.

I daydream quite a bit - okay, all the time - which permits me to be the beautiful and slender while the handsome and musclebound and I have a wonderful romance. These are rarely acceptable by audiences everywhere, so I must fall back on other motivational means of landinbg on The Topic for a great romance.

Someone, somewhere, suggests that, if all else fails, turn to a fairy or folk tale. Take Cinderella - please. Heavens but she is boring with all her mice and sisters and so on. Heroine is mistreated. She has a stroke of luck. She goes to a ball. She meets handsome ever after. He behaves like an idiot trying to find her. They marry. In theory, they live happily ever after. But, we are smart enough to reach the last page before she reaches the last straw. If, as they say, the shoes fits, the plot may fit you. Write on.

Ella is lonely and bored with her job. She wanders into a park and stumbles into the 14th century where someone wonderful falls in love with her. However, she gets swept back to lonely and boring, leaving him lonely and bored. So, he does all in his power to find her and eventually is swept into her century etc

Or, the medieval heroine is sold into marriage, but on the way, she is stolen by a laird as a rescue from a really rotten future. He doesn't know what to do with her, but he falls in love with her. Meamwhile, Thoroughly Despicable, the original husband-to-be captures her and takes her back to his castle. Laird then discovers what is missing and again goes to the rescue, but many mislead him. Eventually, he finds her and etc

Or, the daughter of a severe family meets someone, but her family heartily disapproves. He and she must find a way around this. But, she is sent to a distant college and his parents push him to join the Marines. There is no way to find each other, unless - a beloved aunt gives him her address. He goes to the college but they say she has left. He looks everywhere because he doesn't believe them and finds her. Etc

Fortunately, we never have to fill in the etc It wouldn't be a bit romantic - layoffs, mortgage, tonnsilititis, kids hockey games in Guesswhere, SK, taxes etc

Even Dick and Jane have possibilities. Medieval: knight is close to sister, in fact, her only moral support except for dog. He dies but he has made provisaions by making his friend promise to look after her. They meet, fall in love but he doesn't like the dog. So much for happy endings.

Regency. Jane is Dick's ward since their parents died. At one of the interminable ton balls, he meets the heroine and they fall in love. She agrees to give space to poor spinster Jane. But where is Sally and who gets the dog?

Modern. Dick is a mechanic who falls in love with his next door neighbour who is a doctor. Can love overcome social conformities? Is she a dog, or is that Sally?

Whatever you do, don't have Dick and Jane fall in love or Sally and Jane for that matter. Those are genres even Harlequin won't touch.

There you are. Now see what you can do (what anybody can do) with Rumpelstiltskin. Hint - start with a name change and have her make loonies.

Would this attack work for you? How do you find plot ideas? Do you let your daydreams see the light of day?

5 comments:

connie said...

Sorry!
That is the draft. The corrected version is somewhere or other. Not any notable changes except for corrected spelling and grammar.

Oh, and my guy isn't muscle bound, he is muscular. Sigh

Karyn Good said...

You always make me laugh, Connie. You post is excellent example of not waiting for inspiration to strike but how to work at creating ideas by taking tried and true stores and turning them on their heads. Keep those ideas coming.

connie said...

Hi Karyn

I seem to be pretty good at finding ideas - but not the ambition to carry them out. But the day dreaming part is pretty good

thanks for commenting

Jana Richards said...

Hi Connie,
I'll probably spend the rest of the day wondering what Dick and Jane, and Sally and the dog are doing. Yikes!

Most of the time I have more ideas for stories than time to write them. But I agree that when I truly need an idea, turning to the tried and true fairy tales works really well.

Cheers,
Jana

connie said...

Hi Jana

Well, I hope they aren't playing doctor. Let's imagine them all tucked up in bed, with Spot on the rug snoring.

How many of us wish we had so many story ideas and no time to write them.

I have plenty of story ideas but I need a kick in the ass and an operation to remove this stupid cataract - which is my excuse for not completing my Kick in the Ass challenge...