The evolution of a story!

A while back, I was asked by some friends how I came up with the stories I tell. So I thought I would put this out in cyberspace to let anyone, who might be interested, into my mind for a little visit. This is my seat of the pants process. It works for me. I’m curious to know how do other writers come up with their ideas?

First, I start off with an object.

A table

I just keep asking myself, Who, What, When, Where, and Why and keep expanding.

*There was a table in the corner

*There was a table in the corner with red Formica top and chrome edges.

*The bright afternoon sunlight slanted in through the dirt streaked window. It reflected off the red Formica and exposed the scratches and dents left by thousands of customers in the ancient table in the corner.

*The bright afternoon sunlight slanted in through the dirt streaked window. It reflected off the red Formica and exposed the scratches and dents left by thousands of customers in the ancient table in the corner. One mark, right on the edge closest to the window drew Jerry’s attention. It was a heart with the words Jerry + Deb inside it.

*The bright afternoon sunlight slanted in through the dirt streaked window. It reflected off the red Formica and exposed the scratches and dents left by thousands of customers in the ancient table in the corner. One mark, near the edge closest to the window drew Jerry’s attention. It was a heart with the words Jerry + Deb inside it. Jerry chuckled and a smile creased his face. He remembered the night that Deb scratched that into the table. Everyone called her Debbie goody-two-shoes because she was always so prim and proper. Jerry was probably the only person on earth that really knew her.

So there are many places you can take the story from here. Perhaps I will go this way.

So it was no surprise to him when Sheriff Johnson announced that Debbie had embezzled money from her bank and fled to Mexico. This too made Jerry smile. He looked at his phone again. The text read “Please call me. I am in trouble and need your help…Deb”

Or maybe this way,

It had ripped the heart from Jerry’s chest when Sheriff Johnson knocked on the door that evening twenty years ago. Those words still echo in his mind. “I’m sorry Jerry. On her way home from work, Deb was hit by a drunk driver. She was killed instantly.” Tears rolled down Jerry’s cheek.

Or,

Memories of the past twenty years flooded his mind. It had certainly been a roller coaster ride of emotions for him. Jerry was still lost in his thoughts when the little bell above the door dinged. It startled him back to reality and he looked up at the door to see Deb walk in. She was as beautiful now as she was the day she scratched their names into this table. His heart skipped a few beats as he watched her walk toward him.

“Happy Anniversary!” she whispered as she kissed his cheek.

A wide smile broke across Jerry’s face.

13 thoughts on “The evolution of a story!

  1. Gill Barnes

    Would love to share a process with you, but I don’t have one, and I certainly don’t have one that is as focused as yours. You follow through each and every detail and thought to some brilliant conclusions. What is your muse? The landscape? People? Life? Emotions? Or maybe a mixture of it all. I don’t know. A truly witty, brilliant thought-provoking writer. No-one I have read can set a scene like you. So vivid. I will have to give your method a try. Can’t promise it will work though. Thank you for sharing. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I read this yesterday and it had me thinking for most of it. All of the endings work Jerry but it was the question about the writing process that lingered. One of the great Japanese poets, Basho, once said, the first thoughts we put on paper are the most pure. I suppose if we plan and make writing too much of a process then maybe we lose our identity. It’s seat of the pants for me Jerry and thanks for shifting the old grey matter.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey James. Thanks for dropping by. I am partial to the last one as well. Although my oldest son said he would like to see the sheriff rip the heart out of some unsuspecting guy. I asked him what he meant and he referred to , It had ripped the heart from Jerry’s chest when Sheriff Johnson knocked on the door’… I have weird children.

      Liked by 1 person

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