12 Story Starting Points

Take two of these and call me in the morning

The following twelve sentences are starting points, single thoughts, from which you can spin a story. What you have to do is ask questions and more of the story will be revealed. Who is speaking? What are they speaking about? When are they saying it? Where are they when they say it? Why are they saying it? You can ask the same questions about the answers, until you have the bare bones of a plot and a set of reasons for those things to occur.

1. All of a sudden it’s become clear to me. I get old but you don’t seem to age at all. You look the same as the day I met you. It’s been 20 years. why has it taken me so long to notice it?

2. He thought differently about that prim studious girl at the library when one day she reached up to a high shelf and under the front of her shirt he saw a glimpse of a dragon tattoo on her stomach. It was surprising and intimate.

3. She looked normal, but there was something odd about her. Her very normalness was loud, as if it was a smokescreen for something more sinister. His answer came suddenly and from an unexpected direction.

4. She looked at me with that painful sadness, an expression of such longing and something like regret, I realised she knew and the time had come to say the words. Why was it so hard to say?

5. The solicitor opened the letter and read silently for a few moments. Then he lowered the letter to the blotter on his desk and removed his glasses and placed them on the paper, his expression grave.

6. The truck stalled just before it reached the brow of the hill and it was fortunate it did because at that moment something large, black and triangular crested the hill and left the road climbing into the sky.

7. The forest was silent, but once he held his breath there was a sound. He could hear her breathing heavily, nearby. She was resting for a moment. Then horribly calm she laughed. “Oh, I can see you” she said, starting to run.

8. The police officer stiffened suddenly before he could take a step. His eyes rolled into his head and he fell backwards behind his car. Before she could react the dark shape was running towards her, impossibly fast.

9. She always loved the sound of his breathing when he slept. In all the 50 years they had been married he had never snored, never stayed up later than her, and was always the first to suggest they go to bed.

10. Whatever his wife had been she was gone. The woman that sat in front of the window in the scruffy towel dressing gown with her matted hair, pale skin and blank expression was a stranger to him.

11. At first it seemed as though the car was going to land back on it’s wheels, blessed good fortune, but no… with a sickening crunch the front tyres hit the road unevenly and bounced, flipping the car sideways in a slow arc onto its roof.

12. The boat bucked on the massive waves, the mast swaying away from him much too fast and out of his hands… all of a sudden he was clear of it, falling through the air towards the deck… no! The sea!

It’s not a test, there are no right or wrong answers. Develop a plot if you must, send them to me, and let me know what you come up with where you think it might go and I’ll print the best ones in a future post. Good luck!


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Thanks and see you next time.



3 thoughts on “12 Story Starting Points

  1. Hi, long time no speak! I was just wondering: if I’m already subscribed how can I get a free copy of your eBook? Hmmmm?
    And although I’m not big on the hypnosis thing, I know my aunt is looking for info about it 😉
    Thanks for the 12 story starters! Very cool.

    1. Hey, Yolanda! Long time indeed. Hope you’ve been busy writing? No it’s ok I know life gets in the way sometimes, but I hope at least you’re finding time to think about it. 🙂

      Yep, in the last couple of newsletters there was a link for both the eBook and the hypnosis session. Check the links, but don’t worry as you are one of my first regular contributors I’ll go the extra yard and email you the links.

      Hope you are well. Did you send me a scarf? 🙂

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