December 8, 2011

catch ideas

Twelve Days of Writing No. 4: Look for story inspiration in your daily life.

You can find a story anywhere. I truly believe that. I look for story arcs in everything I do. Sometimes inspiration can come in the most seemingly mundane, or completely disgusting and nearly life-ruining way. (Read on and you may think I'm overstating this, but I stand by my opinion.)

If you follow me on Twitter, then you know for 10 days this fall my life was dominated by a rodent. After the temperature dropped a mouse moved into my house, and in my fear I got a little irrational. Fortunately, I had the good sense to live-Tweet the whole thing.

Here are  few highlights:
Oct. 26
lmchap: Just saw a mouse in the house. Did what any sensible person would: screamed, grabbed a broom and called my brothers. #aaaahhhhhh

Oct. 30
lmchap: The mouse situation is tearing my household apart. Broomie and I just fought again about who and what is to blame. #IWantMyLifeBackMouse
lmchap: Broomie: "Do you want to know the truth or for me to protect you?" Me: "The Truth." B: "I saw the mouse again." Me: expletive.
lmchap: B: "Your anger is displaced and doesn't help, dude." Me: "Neither does your calm. And don't call me dude." #Mousegate2011
lmchap: Me: "Our home has been violated. RU OK with that?" B: "I don't like it either, but you have to accept it." Me: "Never. I want my life back."
lmchap: As I stood in the kitchen, broom in hand, shouting "Show yourself," I realized broomie was right. I may be overreacting. #mousegate2011
lmchap: Made Broomie escort me through kitchen to basement where kittens took over to lead me to safety. Scared of another run-in. #mousegate2011
lmchap: Briefed the kittens. They're ordered to destroy the unwelcome guest if it makes an appearance downstairs. I deputized Jane. #mousegate2011
Jane: a good mouse-catcher no more.
Oct. 31
lmchap: I'm told a squirrel ate part of my Edward Cullen pumpkin's face. #SadDay #RodentsAreRuiningMyLife
Nov. 2
I screamed when a squirrel ran across the road in front of me. Mouse in the house may have scarred me for life. #mousegate2011

Nov. 3
After a few days the mouse is back. Eff this. I'm bring the kittens upstairs to hung. #mousegate2011
lmchap: Broomie may not be happy about it, but I can't live like this any more. I mean the mouse actually squeaked at me! #mousegate2011
lmchap: So far they've been up here 10 minutes and nothing. I hope it doesn't take much longer. #mousegate2011

How we finally caught mouse.
Nov. 4
lmchap: Mouse isn't confined to floorboards, it seems. Had an unpleasant run-in with him while walking through kitchen this morning. #mousegate2011lmchap: I tried to grab the kittens to attack it, but wasn't fast enough. That little sucker is sneaky. And evil. #mousegate2011
lmchap: I blame cartoons for making mice seem cute and funny. In reality, they're terrors. I hate mouse. #mousegate2011

Nov. 5
lmchap: Mouse in the house has gone on too long. I'm giving this a shot, tonight:
lmchap: We got the bastard. I caught it using the homemade trick and released it in a park. #mousegate2011 may be over!
Do you think there might be a storyline somewhere? I sure do. While I do not think Mousegate 2011 could carry a whole plot, I definitely think it's something I can weave into a bigger story as a fun subplot.

I suggest keeping track of quirky moments like this in your life. Log them in your journal, or type up a few notes. Do whatever it takes to commit it to memory.

For Mousegate 2011, I have a document with every Tweet I, or one of my friends, posted about it. I also took notes about details that didn't make it into the Twitterverse. If I ever decide to write about my near scared to death experience, I'll be ready.

Giveaway challenge: Have any of you used a real life event to inspire fiction? How did it work? 

Answer in the comments below to be entered to win this week's Twelve Days of Writing drawing. Be sure to check back Friday at 2 p.m. CDT to see if you are this week's winner. Read about the contest and what prizes you can win here.

1 comment:

  1. I once in a while will use real life events for inspiration. Doing NaNoWriMo, I was surprised at how events from my life would pop in there, many times unconsciously just as I wrote. I put my own spin on it and I felt it worked well. I think in some way things from my life always find a way in there, even if I don't mean for them to.