Tuesday, August 31

Let Your Imagination Go!

I've passed this corral near Telluride, Colorado, about a million times. I love it. It's not just the corral itself that I love. It's the history behind it that fires my imagination.

I'm not a historical writer, although I should be because I grew up in a historical mining town, immersed in the stories of the miners and the soiled doves who founded it.

What fires my imagination about this old, falling down corral is the men and women who used it.

We went to my nephew's high school graduation in May, and I was in the passenger seat of the car. When we zoomed by the old site, I let my imagination go, and before you know it, I had a hero, a heroine and a very bad man. And a storyline. All built around a few old poles.

For me, it's that easy. Any little thing can trigger a story.

I have too many in my head to tell. If only I could write faster!

I don't even need a scene like this old corral. Sometimes an entire scene plays through my head, and I'm compelled to write it.

In short, it doesn't take much to start a story for me.

Would an old pole corral trigger a story for any of you? What does?


  1. Your corral is beautiful. I love stuff like that too. With anything old I always think of the people who might have used it. But my story ideas don't come to me by seeing things like the corral. I hear and see the characters in my head, saying or doing the same thing over and over until I pay attention. Funny how everyone conceives stories differently.

  2. What doesn't inspire me! Anything gets me going off in a plotting daze. Mostly it's music. But I'd see something like a pair of shoes-I'm obsessed with high heels-and I'd wonder, who'd wear it? What kind of clothes would she wear to compliment it? What kind of man would she attract wearing it? Then it builds from there.

    I live in New York so I take the Subway. The person seating next to me, a complete stranger, always takes up my mind. I wonder at their lives, the secrets they're hiding, the people they're loving. It's amazing playing what-ifs.

    One night not too long ago, I found myself at work not writing. Just staring into space, seeing nothing until...A limo passes by my window. Who's inside? I answered that question myself by immediately powering up the laptop. The answeres, like always, shocks me.

  3. Anything can trigger my imagination.Fireworks overhead at the Fort and I think, what if there was an assassin in the bushes? He could plug a few people and nobody would know.

    My head cashier calls over the intercom, "Stamps to the front." And I imagine an elf stamping up to the front. Every time. Some day Stamps the Elf is getting a story.

    The wind turner at the car wash made me think about wind turning back time...

    and on and on and on....

  4. I get my best ideas when reading a book...must be something to do with my imagination already unleashed. =) lots of times i have to put the book down and go write!

  5. Music and dreams. Everything I've ever written
    was inspired by a song or a dream. Although
    I see amazing characters everyday on the street,
    none of them have ever inspired me to write
    their story.

  6. I get ideas from dreams, odd phrases and weird stuff that appears when I least expect it. A shadow that looks like a man and disappears when my car approaches it, women who seemingly never appear again after entering a public restroom, people from history and just watching the moon cross the sky. They inspire me to write, as does the fear of unemployment. The unemployment is real and the fear gets paralyzing, but you have to keep going.

  7. I like old barns too. Inspiration comes from places I've been, objects that have sentimental value, a passing comment, or something I've read or seen on t.v.
    Get yourself a small digital recorder to record your thoughts. I bought one last week.

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  9. I get my ideas from things around me. Lifestyle, scenery, etc. When deeper worldbuilding is required, I have no qualms about dipping into the minds of my kids. They have an unceaseless fountain of imagination!

  10. I'm a little like you, D'Ann. I might see something like that old corral -- or, just last week, an overturned canoe and the story just jumps into my head. But it can also come from an argument at the grocery store that I'm eavesdropping on or that older couple who walks our neighborhood every evening - like clockwork! - starting around 7:30pm.

  11. One of my favorite things to do is flip through magazines for pics and images, phrases and profiles that spark and/or develop ideas.

  12. I just get an idea and suddenly I have a story. I am trying really hard to stay with the one I'm on now. I have been working on it for almost a year now. I wrote a little summary and went from there. I guess last fall having 2 great nieces turning 1 and hearing about theri development triggered the kidnapping of a toddler tied into a missing microchip witsome secret weapon plans on it. I'm at 42,007 words right now not sure how far until I get to the end. Then I will worry about edititing and revising lol.

  13. It's one of the fun things about writing, isn't it? I don't have tons of ideas like some do, but I love those little scene-starters. My own favorite is an Electrolux vacuum cleaner being ridden down the stairs.