Friday, August 29, 2014

Fiction for Family

“Ideas are everywhere. Lift up a big rock and look under it, stare into a window of a house you drive past and dream about what’s going on inside. Read the newspaper, ask your father about his sister, think of something that happened to you or someone you know and then think about it turning out an entirely different way.” ~ Ann Patchett

Family members provide fodder for fiction. Choose a family member with colorful adventures or an ancestor you're heard stories about.  Begin with a character description and let your creativity soar with details.

Switch from the ordinary to extraordinary and extend all possibilities.

If you had a great aunt who ran a restaurant in a small town, turn it into a rowdy bar.  Spice up the drama with a secret shared.  If you had a relative with pioneer history, write a fifteen minute character sketch about travel across Indian country.  Do you have any mail order brides in your history? Expand their stories.

Bring an ancestor to the present day.  How would Wild Uncle Will from the old west deal with tweeting in the modern world?  Did cousin Annette really design shoes for the Rockettes? What if she worked for Nordstrom today?

Stretch your imagination when delving into family members. Combine characteristics of one or two individuals into a character with a story to tell.

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